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Kashmir stir enters fourth month, return to normalcy seems a distant dream

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A protester throws rocks at government forces after the police stopped the funeral procession of Junaid Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy in Srinagar. (AP Photo)

  • A few days ago Ghulam Mohammad (name changed), a bus conductor from Nowpora area in Srinagar, borrowed a handcart from a neighbour and stuffed a few vegetables to sell them in the market. Jobless for more than 90 days, he has to feed a family of six.
  •  Director School Education and Kashmir’s first IAS topper Shah Faesal, in a Facebook post calls himself the director of ‘shut schools’. “I need a job,” he posted.
  • Trade bodies say Kashmir’s economy has taken a hit of Rs 120 crore a day on an average. Over the past 90 days the economy has a lost over Rs 10,000 crore.

The current unrest in Kashmir entered the fourth month on Saturday making it the longest period the Valley has been shut down in history.

At least 90 people have lost their lives in the bloody unrest so far triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.

Thousands others have been injured in crackdowns by security forces. At least 14 youth, including two teenagers, have died of pellet injuries in the past three months.

Thousands have also been jailed and hundreds including human rights activist Khurram Pervez booked under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA). The administration is not even allowing the religious processions of Shia community in the holy month of Muharram.

The separatist leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik continue to be either under house arrest or in custody.

But protests continue in many parts of the valley. “The youth seem adamant not to let things return to normal. Even the separatists don’t seem to be in control,” said a senior police officer.

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