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November 9, 2019

IHK lockdown continues for 96th consecutive day

Top Story

November 9, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Fear and uncertainty continue to grip Held Kashmir and Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh regions as the military lockdown entered 96th running day (Friday).

According to Kashmir Media Service, despite the partial relaxation of restrictions by the occupation authorities, people in the Valley continue to down their shutters and stay away from schools and offices as part of a civil disobedience movement against India’s illegal actions of revoking special status of Kashmir and dividing it into two union territories.

Shops open briefly in the morning and evening hours but even this is more often than not disrupted due to the continuing uncertainty.

Prepaid phone, SMS and internet services remain snapped. So far, the occupation authorities have not given any indication to restore these facilities in near future.

However, landlines and voice calls on post-paid connections have been partially restored but the move could not mitigate the sufferings of the people. The authorities are likely to re-impose strict restrictions in the occupied Valley to prevent people from holding anti-India demos after Friday prayers.

The authorities have not allowed Friday prayers at any of the major mosques and shrines of the territory since revoking the special status of Kashmir on August 5, 2019. According to another report, an official of European Union Friday said the EU remains concerned over the fundamental rights of people of occupied Kashmir.

According to KMS, deputy secretary general for economic and global issues of European Union, Christian Leffler, at a function in New Delhi said the EU fully recognised the security concerns of India and equally strong concern for all the rights of Kashmiris.

Leffler, who was at an event in India, said that while there was a degree of normalcy; the situation was yet not good in occupied Kashmir. The EU, he said, always maintained that the Kashmir dispute should be discussed between India and Pakistan through dialogue. He expressed surprise over the recent visit of some selected members of European Parliament to IHK.

Meanwhile, seven persons were killed as 16 hours of incessant snowfall paralysed life in Held Kashmir. This season’s first heavy snowfall started Wednesday night and continued all day Thursday. It triggered avalanches at many places in the Valley and turned the narrow tracks on the hill slopes dangerously slippery.

Traffic on all major highways connecting the Valley to the rest of the world including the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the Srinagar-Poonch Highway and the Srinagar-Kargil Highway was completely disrupted. Around 2,000 vehicles were left stranded on these highways, officials said. No flight was able to land or take off from the Srinagar airport due to accumulation of snow on the runway and low visibility.

Srinagar saw major traffic gridlocks due to snow accumulation and slippery roads. The city recorded over one feet of snowfall and the upper reaches of Kupwara, Shopian, Ganderbal and Baramulla recorded 4 ft of snowfall.

Two porters of Indian Army were swept by avalanches Wednesday night in Kupwara district. Their bodies were recovered Thursday. Two Indian soldiers were also killed when their vehicle met with an accident in Langate area of Kupwara district due to poor visibility.

One employee of the power development department was killed after he fell from an electricity pole during snowfall in Hazratbal area of Srinagar. Another civilian died after being hit by a tree branch in Habak area of the city. One more civilian died in Lasipora area of Pulwama when he was clearing snow from a roof and slipped to the ground.

On the other hand, snowfall has inflicted major damage to electricity lines resulting in complete blackout across the Valley.

Kashmir University and the Islamic University of Science and Technology have postponed their examination schedules Friday.

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