SRINAGAR: Fresh clashes in Pulwama; Chemist injured after shell explodes in his hand; Srinagar-Jammu highway re-opens partially; Mughal Road still closed
Life limped back to normal in Kashmir on Wednesday after three days of shutdown and curfew-like restrictions following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmed Bhat and his close aide Faizan Ahmed in an encounter in Tral on Saturday.
There were no restrictions anywhere in the Valley, officials said, even as shops, government and private offices, fuel outlets and business establishments opened in the morning. Public and private transport also plied normally throughout the day.
Reports of restoration of normalcy also came in from other districts of Kashmir, except Pulwama where markets were closed after forces resorted to teargas shelling on stone-throwing protesters.
A chemist was injured after an explosive device went off while he was trying to throw it out of his shop in Pulwama, witnesses said.
They said minor stone-pelting protests erupted in the town early in the day following which government forces fired shells—one of them landing inside the shop of the chemist, Ghulam Mohiudin Sheikh. “He tried to throw the shell out of his shop, but it exploded in his hand,” the witnesses said. He was rushed to district hospital.
Curfew-like restrictions were imposed on Sunday in districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian and areas falling under seven police stations in Srinagar following the killing of Sabzar Bhat, the successor of popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, in southern Tral township on Saturday. Curbs were also imposed in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla. The Valley’s resistance leadership had called for two-day shutdown in the Valley and a march to Tral to mourn the militant killings.
SRINAGAR-JAMMU HIGHWAY RE-OPENS
The Jammu-Srinagar highway, which remained closed for three days, was re-opened for a few hours in the morning, allowing movement of stranded vehicles, officials said.
Over 750 vehicles left Jammu towards Kashmir till 11 am, an official said.
“No vehicle was allowed to move to Srinagar after that,” he said.
The highway was closed in view of “apprehensions of trouble” after Sabzar Bhat was killed.
Over 2.000 vehicles were stranded on the highway from Lakhanpur towards Kashmir during the past three days.
Traffic however has not been allowed on Mughal Road, which connects Jammu to the Valley via Shopian.
Meanwhile, mobile phone service continues to remain suspended in Tral- Awantipora areas for the fifth consecutive day, locals said.__GK News