Kashmir Valley sees partial shutdown

Kashmir witnessed a street protest by the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a partial spontaneous shutdown in Srinagar, as the revocation of J&K’s special status completed three years on Friday. On the other hand, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha participated in multiple events to promote different projects.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and her supporters held a protest march from the party’s Srinagar office but were stopped from heading towards the commercial hub Lal Chowk. Ms. Mufti said August 5, 2019 was “a black decision of the black day and was unacceptable to people of J&K”.

“We’ve vowed that we will get our flag and constitution back… They intend to make India a Hindu state. However, we will force them to resolve the issue of Kashmir for which lakhs of people sacrificed themselves,” Ms. Mufti said.

The National Conference organized a party meeting and resolved to pursue the case of restoration of Article 370 in the Supreme Court. The meeting was chaired by NC president Dr. Farooq Abdullah and attended by vice-president Omar Abdullah.

“We will continue our peaceful struggle using all legal and constitutional means to challenge what was done to J&K on 5 th Aug 2019. The road ahead may be a long one, full of twists and turns but it’s not one NC will abandon,” Mr. Abdullah said.

CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami said it was on this day in 2019 that the Central government robbed J&K of what it had achieved after a hard-fought battle, by locking up thousands overnight. “We reiterate our cast iron resolve to work unitedly for restoration of what was snatched from us,” he said.

Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in parts of Srinagar’s old city. Shops remained closed in Hawal, Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta and Khayar in the city. However, markets remained open in and around commercial hub Lal Chowk. A police spokesperson said, “Paying no heed to bandh call, all shops are open and it is absolutely normal in Srinagar district.”

Attending a number of functions in Srinagar, LG Sinha flagged off ‘The Great India Run’ from Lal Chowk. The marathoners will cover a distance of more than 800 km from Srinagar to New Delhi with the message of peace and national integration, an official said.

“There has been substantial development and augmentation of healthcare infrastructure in Kashmir. The abrogation of Article 370 has paved the way to good governance. J&K has taken a giant leap in every sector,” Mr. Sinha said, as he inaugurated a 150-bedded Ujala Cygnus super specialty hospital in Nowgam area.

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