Month After Abrogation of Article 370, ‘Normalcy’ Back in Kashmir?

The Quint travelled to Srinagar to asses the situation on the ground and find out if ‘normalcy’ has been restored.

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It has been a month since Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the abrogation of Article 370 in the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, on the floor of the Parliament. What followed was lockdown in the state, heavy police and patrolling on the streets and house arrest of political leaders. All means of communication with the world outside the Valley was snapped.

A month later, The Quint's Nishtha Gautam travelled to Srinagar to asses the situation on the ground and find out if 'normalcy' has really been restored.

While the agencies would not like to call it a ‘curfewed’ state and that everything is normal, the situation on the ground is different. The downtown remains under civil curfew as people out of their own volition are not coming out of their own houses, students are not going to schools despite schools being officially open.

Dirty Waterways

Locals claim the iconic Dal Lake and other waterways were covered in weed and remained dirty as waterways remained shut for a month and cleaning was halted for close to three weeks after the abrogation of Article 370.

“They (the waterways) were closed for a month. Even the cleaning process was paused. The cleaning process has been going for the past three days.”
Boatswain from Srinagar

Schools Shut

Schools were shut for close to a week after the abrogation of Article 370 in the Valley. Even after some schools officially opened, many of them were forced to shut down again as hardly any student walked through the gates.

“Wherever you go, the schools are closed. One school was open in the village, but it closed after three days.”
Boatswain from Srinagar

Roads Deserted

Local autorickshaw drivers claim apart from private transports, the roads remain pretty much deserted. Shops are shut, public transport continue to keep off the streets and locals mostly stay indoors.

“All the transport on the roads is private transport. No transport, no shops – everything is closed. The locals here want a solution to this.”
Autorickshaw driver from Srinagar

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