SRINAGAR: The government relaxed restrictions in areas falling under 50 police stations in the Valley on Sunday. They restored landline connections in some areas but communication clampdown in most parts of the Valley continued for the fourteenth day. Schools and all government offices are set to open on Monday.
Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said restrictions were eased for the second consecutive day on Sunday.
“The duration of relaxation was increased from six hours on Saturday to eight hours on Sunday,” he said. Kansal said an increase in relaxation hours was specifically planned to keep in view the encouraging response received on Saturday and request from traders.
However, many shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport remained off the road in areas where restrictions were eased. Fewer private vehicles and three-wheelers were plying on the roads than Saturday when restrictions were eased in 35 police station areas.
The Sunday Market (a flea market) remained deserted. However, only seven vendors had put up their stalls.
The curbs, however, remained in force in downtown Srinagar. The curbs in these areas were tightened on Sunday after sporadic stone-pelting incidents on Saturday.
Even though schools reopen on Monday, parents are worried about sending their children to school.
“I won’t send my children to school. If something happens, how will we communicate with the school,” asked Aijaz Ahmad, whose child studies in class 3. “About 194 primary schools in Srinagar will open,” Kansal said. There are around 900 primary schools in the Kashmir Valley.
Hajj pilgrims return
Hajj pilgrims from Kashmir started returning from Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Two flights carrying 304 Hajj pilgrims arrived at the Srinagar airport.