Article 370: Eerie silence prevails in Kashmir Valley as special status goes

Srinagar: An eerie silence prevails in the city with concertina wire barricades laid on deserted streets and the police and armed forces personnel allowing civilians to move only after thorough checking, although there is no official curfew.

Two days after the Centre's announcement, people remained confined mostly indoors.

The 'undeclared curfew' has left many people confused and nervous. Amid the restrictions, an unfortunate incident took place on the outskirts of the city.

CRPF personnel chased a group of youths who had assembled in the locality and one of them panicked and jumped into river Jhelum.

There was a protest in the locality but it ended after baton charge in which six people were injured, the officials said. There is no public or private transportation.

Aadil Dar, a systems engineer working for a multi-national company in Gurgaon, said after a brief visit to his native place. With no private or public transport available, he walked to the Srinagar airport, nearly 14 km from the city centre, with his luggage.

There is complete restriction on flow of information -- data, voice and land line. ‘‘There is no contact with anyone from outside Kashmir or even within the city," said Imtiyaz Beigh, a manager of a hotel, who wants to know about his family in the border town of Kupwara.

Political leaders, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been put up in Hari Niwas, which has been turned into a makeshift 'detention centre'. Former MLA from Srinagar, Ali Mohammad Sagar is also in detention at the building.

Scores of activists from mainstream political parties – the National Conference and the PDP -- have been detained at another makeshift detention centre at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre.

By Sumir Kaul

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