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Curfew lifted from Kashmir Valley

August 08, 2010 15:43 IST

Curfew was lifted from the entire Kashmir Valley on Sunday following improvement in the situation after days of violence, prompting people to come out in large numbers to buy essentials.

Shoppers flocked the markets and businesses reopened in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley, officials said.

Traffic snarls were seen at many places as people came out to stock supplies. Schools, colleges, banks and private offices reopened and public transport plied on roads.

"There is no curfew in any part of the Valley today," a police spokesman said.

Curfew was withdrawn from three districts of the state -- Budgam, Gandarbal and Kupwara -- and some localities of Srinagar yesterday following improvement in the situation.

The police said curfew has now been withdrawn from the districts of Anantnag, Srinagar, Baramulla, Kulgam, Bandipora, Shopian and Pulwama.

The restrictions were clamped in the Valley on July 31 in the wake of violent protests in which 33 people have been killed and several others, including securitymen, injured.

Meanwhile, separatists have issued a fresh calendar of strikes and protests.

The Valley was rocked by violence following the death of a teenager on June 11 after being hit by a teargas shell at Gani Stadium near Rajourikadal. After that, street protests had continued in Srinagar and other parts.

The latest round of violence in the Valley saw protestors attacking and torching government and police buildings, railway stations and vehicles, prompting hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to issue a surprise appeal telling agitators that burning public property would damage the "movement".

Urging people of Kashmir to "heed to voices of reason" and desist from violent protests, Home Minister P Chidambaram had on August 4 promised to reactivate a dialogue to address their grievances once normalcy is restored in the Valley.

Battling the upsurge in violence in the Valley, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had visited Delhi and met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week. Omar had said the state needs a political initiative to deal with the situation but made it clear that for that to happen a semblance of normalcy was needed.
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