The situation in unrest-hit Kashmir, which continued to be curfew-free for third day today, was by and large peaceful as security forces foiled separatists' plans to hold protests in the city and elsewhere. Many shops and businessestablishments including petrol pumps were open in Sanat Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh and Bishembar Nagar, though outlets remained closed in commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas, a police official said. "The situationacross Kashmir Valley is by and large peaceful.
There are no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere," a police official said. Alarge number of roadside vendors set up their stalls on the TRC crossing-Batamaloo axis passing through Lal Chowk while a good number of private vehicles were plying. The movement of traffic was thin compared to yesterday apparently due to burning of two commercial taxis by unidentified youths in Parimpora area on Srinagar-Baramulla national highway yesterday. Kashmir continued to be curfew-free for third day but security forces were deployed in strength at various spots prone to protests and street violence, officials said. "Security forces have been deployed in sensitive areas to maintain law and order as also to instill a sense of security among the people so that they can carry out their day to day activities without fear," they said. However, reports of minor clashes were reported from Rahmoo in Pulwama district of south Kashmir and Naugam in Chadoora area of central Kashmir's Budgam district after some people tried to stage demonstrations in response to the separatists' call. The separatists had asked people to "assemble and occupy" roads including in Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city. Authorities foiled the separatists' plan by deploying security forces in strength in and around Lal Chowk and other vulnerable areas. The shutdown has affected schools, colleges and other educational institutions which continued to remain shut in the Valley, which is struggling to return to normalcy following the violence which erupted after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani. The unrest which has left 84 people dead and several thousand injured has dealt a severe blow to the economy and the development works with major projects now in limbo. Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) for the violent protests.
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