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Calm in Kashmir valley as Ramzan begins
Published on 12 Aug. 2010 11:26 PM IST
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After days of unrest and curfew, the situation in the Kashmir Valley was calm on Thursday with curfew being lifted from all the regions and a break in strikes called by separatists.
“The situation is peaceful throughout the Valley and curfew has been lifted from all parts,” Inspector General Police (Kashmir Range) Farooq Ahmad told PTI. With the lifting of curfew coinciding with a separatists’ announcement not to call for strike, shoppers flocked the markets and business establishments reopened in Srinagar city and other parts of the Valley.
Traffic snarls were seen at many places as people came out to stock supplies particularly in view of the holy month of Ramzan which commenced from today. Schools, colleges, banks and private offices reopened and public transport plied on the streets. On August 10, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sought to calm tensions in the Valley by urging Kashmiris “to give peace a chance”. He held out the possibility of greater autonomy and vowed to address rampant unemployment.
The Valley was rocked by violence following the death of a teenager on June 11 after allegedly being hit by a teargas shell at Gani stadium near Rajouri Kadal. After that street protests continued in the Valley which claimed 52 lives. Meanwhile, Indian army helicopters airlifted more stranded tourists to safety Thursday in the wake of flash floods that killed 185 people in the high-altitude Himalayan adventure playground of Ladakh.
One week after the floods devastated the main Ladakh city of Leh and surrounding areas, around 400 people are still missing, including members of foreign trekking tours.August is peak trekking season in Buddhist-dominated Ladakh and tourism officials said as many as 2,000 foreigners were in the region when the disaster struck on the night of August 5.
“The Indian army is pushing on with its mission of finding the missing people,” army spokesman J.S. Brar told AFP.

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