D-Day Kashmir remains closed, mobile internet broke
Srinagar: in a context of heightened security several events took place across Kashmir to celebrate the 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday, when a complete shutdown was observed in the valley.
Most parts of the valley had a desert look as all shops and commercial establishments were closed, while light traffic was visible on the roads. Authorities had also suspended mobile internet until the afternoon.
In Kashmir, a grand Republic Day ceremony was held at SK Stadium Srinagar, where Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor’s Advisor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar unfurled the tricolor.
Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, a key commercial district of historical significance that usually remains bustling with people, was deserted on Wednesday amid a heavy presence of government forces.
Similar scenes were also seen in other parts of Kashmir. Apart from heavily guarded memorial sites, all major markets in the region remained closed amid a spontaneous shutdown.
There was no strike call from the separatist group. The government had also announced that it would not impose any sort of restriction today, as had been its practice for three decades.
A business leader from Sopore, north Kashmir, said The Walla of Kashmir that the Independence and Republic Day shutdown in the region in recent years has been spontaneous.
“Once the memorial functions are over, some stores open late. No one is ordering us to keep stores open or closed. Keeping shops closed has become a trend and I don’t know why traders are doing it,” said Hashmatullah Qazi, president of the Sopore Traders Association.
Breaking a decades-old tradition, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) announced on Tuesday that there would be no restrictions on the movement of people in the Valley on this Republic Day.
“There will be no restrictions on movement tomorrow. The general public is requested to follow appropriate Covid behavior,” IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said in a tweet.
However, in the morning, the police had placed several nakas on the roads of the city to restrict the movement of people towards downtown Lal Chowk. Only a few were allowed to move after searching and checking their identity cards.