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Day after blasts: Security beefed up in Kashmir

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Nov 27: Security was beefed up in Srinagar on Wednesday, a day after two blasts rocked Kashmir killing two persons and injuring several others, officials said.

They said security personnel have been deployed at sensitive locations, including a few market places, to keep an eye on miscreants.

This is to ensure that the citizens get a sense of security and businesses operate normally, the officials added.

 

The deployment of security personnel comes a day after two blasts in Anantnag and Hazratbal area of the city here left two persons dead and several others injured.

Meanwhile, shops opened Wednesday morning at most places across the valley, including Srinagar, the officials said.

They said most of the shopkeepers, however, downed their shutters in the afternoon to join the protest against the abrogation of Article 370. A few remained open for longer hours.

Public transport plied on Wednesday, they added.

While there was a semblance of normalcy in the Kashmir Valley over the past few weeks after over three months of protest shutdown over the abrogation of Article 370, the fresh shutdown started on Wednesday last week as threatening posters warning shopkeepers and public transport operators appeared at some places in the city here and elsewhere.

The police said they have taken note of these incidents and several such modules have been busted by arresting several persons.

Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August when the Centre announced the decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.


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Fog disrupts air traffic for 3rd straight day

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Dec 9: No flights could operate from Srinagar airport for the third consecutive day due to poor visibility.

The Meteorological (Met) Department has warned that foggy conditions will continue for the next 48-hours.

“There will be a slight improvement in the foggy weather on Tuesday, and then the weather will improve from Wednesday,” said Sonam Lotus, Director, Met Department, Kashmir.

 

He said for the last ten days Kashmir has mostly seen dry weather with a slow wind speed, resulting in foggy conditions.

Lotus said there will be a significant improvement in the foggy conditions from Tuesday.

“Significant improvement (in visibility) is expected from Tuesday onwards,” he told The Kashmir Monitor.

The valley, he said, will witness light rains on December 11.

“Moderate to heavy snowfall is predicted between the intervening night of 12 and 13 December,” said Lotus.

“Below freezing temperature, calm winds (1 to 2 km per hour), more than 75% humidity, and suspended dust particles in the atmosphere are the reasons for such dense fog,” he added.

Lotus said that similar foggy conditions occurred back in November months of 2015 and 2016.

The Met Department has predicated snowfall in Kashmir from December 12 and 13 due to a fresh western disturbance.

According to a government advisory, an active western disturbance is most likely to affect the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and adjoining areas from December to 10-14, 2019.

“Under the influence of this weather system, widespread moderate rain/snow is expected at a few places of Kashmir on December 10, thereafter increase in intensity and distribution will happen.”

The weather advisory says the system is likely to cause heavy rain/snow mainly in Pirpanjal range of Jammu division (from Baderwah to Banihal), upper reaches of Kashmir (Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Baramulla and Kupwara, and Drass subdivision of Ladakh Union Territory.

“This may lead to disruption of surface and air transport including Jammu-Srinagar national highway. Srinagar-Leh National highway (Zojilla pass), Leh-Manali Highway, Mughal road and Sadhana pass and there would be a further dip in temperature.”

There has been a significant drop in temperature due to prevailing cold wave conditions in Kashmir.

The night temperature in Srinagar was recorded at minus 2.6 degrees and minus 4.2 degrees in the ski resort Gulmarg. 

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87% fewer tourists visited Valley: Report

Agencies

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Srinagar, Dec 9: The number of domestic tourists who visited Kashmir from August to November this year fell 87% compared to the same period last year, The Times of India reported on Monday. The number was 32,411, as against 2.49 lakh during August-November 2018. The number of foreign tourists fell 82% during the four-month period – from 19,167 in 2018 to just 3,413 this year.

However, November was the best month since August, with 10,946 domestic and 1,140 foreign tourists visiting the Union Territory.

The drop in the number of tourists appears to be a consequence of the Centre’s decision to impose prohibitory orders after abrogating the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The decision was taken on August 5. Prohibitory orders are gradually being lifted.

 

On October 10, the Jammu and Kashmir administration lifted its advisory against tourists in the Valley. Postpaid mobile services have resumed in the Valley, but internet connectivity remains blocked.

In June and July, Kashmir received 1.62 lakh and 1.49 lakh domestic tourists. This was around 27% higher than the figures for June and July 2018.

Parvez Baba, the owner of Hotel Samci Riviera in Srinagar’s Rajbagh, told The Times of India that he has only four rooms out of 24 occupied this week. “My hotel is just three years old and I can’t afford to lose any business that comes my way,” he said. “If I charge Rs 4,000 per room, what chance do I have of getting a guest?”

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JK Govt announces winter vacations for schools from Dec 10

Monitor News Bureau

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SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 09: Government today ordered winter vacation for all Government Educational Institutions and recognized private schools up to Higher Secondary level functioning in the Kashmir Division and winter zone areas of Jammu Division from December 10 to February 22, 2020.

The order was issued in view of foggy conditions and forecast of further dip in temperature along with rains and snowfall over next week.

 
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