On R-day, Kashmir remains shut, mobile internet snapped

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Srinagar: Amid tight security arrangements several events were held across Kashmir to celebrate the 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday, while  a complete shutdown was observed in the valley. 

Most parts of the valley wore a deserted look as all shops and business establishments were closed, while thin traffic was visible on roads. The authorities had also suspended a mobile internet till afternoon.

In Kashmir, a major Republic day ceremony was held at SK Stadium Srinagar,where the advisor to Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar  unfurled the tricolour.

Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, a key commercial neighbourhood of historic significance that usually remains abuzz with people, was deserted  on Wednesday amid a heavy presence of government forces. 

Similar scenes were also witnessed in other parts of Kashmir.  Apart from the heavily guarded commemoration venues, all major markets in the region remained closed amid a spontaneous shutdown. 

There was no strike call given by the separatist group. The government had also announced not to put any kind of restriction today as had been their practice for the last three decades.

A trade leader from north Kashmir’s Sopore told The Kashmir Walla that the shutdown on Independence and Republic Day in the region for the past several years has been spontaneous.

“Once the commemorative functions end some shops open in the late hours. No one directs us to keep the shops open or closed. To keep shops closed has become a trend and I do not have any idea why traders do so,” Hashmatullah Qazi, President Sopore Traders Association said.

Breaking decades old tradition, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on Tuesday announced that there will be no restriction on movement of people in theValley on this Republic Day.

“There will be no restriction on movements tomorrow. General public are requested to follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour”,” IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said in a tweet.

However in the morning hours police had put several nakas on city roads to restrict the movement of the people towards city centre Lal Chowk. Only a few were allowed to move after frisking and checking their identity cards.

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