SRINAGAR: Life remained disrupted in Kashmir for the 11th week, even as Governor Satya Pal Malik hinted that the recently restored post-paid mobile services might be snapped again due to the rise in terrorism-related incidents in the valley. This has added to the worries of the locals. Meanwhile, the fruit business has taken a hit after three civilians from outside Jammu and Kashmir, including a fruit trader from Punjab, were killed by suspected terrorists.
Recently, some suspected terrorists had killed an apple trader from Punjab, a brick kiln worker from Chhattisgarh and a truck driver from Rajasthan in separate incidents to disrupt the harvest season in the entire valley. These incidents have scared the people in south Kashmir. Dilbagh Singh, police chief, told the media that they have identified the killers of all the three civilians and expressed hope that they would be hunted down soon. Following the killings, the police chief visited Shopian district in south Kashmir and assured the fruit traders that they would provide them with required security so that they could transport apples out of Kashmir.
The export of apples from Kashmir took a hit after a truck driver from Rajasthan identified by the police as Sharif Khan was shot dead. After the incident, several truck drivers fled from Kashmir and many are now refusing to come to Kashmir to transport fruits out of the valley. The apple business in the valley has been suffering since 5 August as traders could not transport fruits especially pears and grapes. The market intervention scheme that was launched by the government hasn’t helped producers much.
The government authorities are closely monitoring the situation and are not allowing any protest rallies as they fear that the situation might go out of control. The situation in the valley has not regained normalcy as no classes have resumed in educational institutions. Journalists in Kashmir, especially those working for organisations outside Jammu and Kashmir, are finding it difficult to report due to the lack of internet services. The journalists have again appealed to the government to restore either the internet services on their phones or broadband internet services for newspapers and working journalists.
Authorities imposed fresh restrictions in Srinagar city on Friday as the main mosques, especially the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, remained closed even for Friday prayers.
Many areas in downtown Srinagar were sealed and no civilian movement was allowed on Friday. There have been reports of protests from Anchar area of Soura on the outskirts of Srinagar as police arrested the person who was leading the protests in that area. The Anchar area has witnessed constant protests following the abrogation of Article 370. Latest reports from the area said that there were protests and they were demanding the release of the person arrested by the police.