Srinagar: After 132 days of closure, the Kashmir Valley burst into life on Saturday morning with a large number of vehicles out on the roads, and markets, schools, offices and businesses open for the first time in the last over four months of separatist-sponsored shutdown and protests.
Shoppers thronged Srinagar markets in large numbers even as demonetization also showed its first signs of inconvenience in the Kashmir Valley where the November 8 surprise announcement had caused little or no effect because businesses and other activities were closed since mid-July.
Many buses and other public vehicles started plying early in the morning as people also came out to attend their offices, open their shops and visit banks to withdraw cash.
The situation has been by and large peaceful over the last few weeks in the valley, which had been hit by clashes between violent protesters and security forces following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8. The unrest had left 86 people dead and many others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.
Separatist leaders, who had been spearheading the agitation with their weekly protest calendars, relaxed the shutdown for two days, asking people to resume normal activities over the weekend.
Authorities also did not impose restrictions anywhere on Saturday to facilitate free movement of people and traffic.
There was massive traffic on the roads in Srinagar – the summer capital – as public transport resumed fully and people came out to carry out their day to day activities today. The authorities had increased the presence of traffic personnel on the roads to manage the traffic.
With the start of Board exams for classes 10 and 12 this week, life in the valley had been gradually returning to normalcy. The authorities last night restored mobile internet services on postpaid numbers due to improvement in situation.
However, such facility on prepaid numbers continued to remain snapped and there is no word yet on their restoration.