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Amid curfew and shutdown, Kashmir shows marginal improvement 

Srinagar, Aug 1 (IANS) Sporadic clashes between stone-pelting mobs and security forces at some places notwithstanding, the overall law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley showed signs of marginal improvement on Monday with some normal activity seen in the Srinagar city.

Two protesters were injured when security forces opened fire at an unruly mob in Qazigund area of Anantnag district.

“The injured persons were admitted to hospital where doctors said both of them were out of danger,” a police officer said.

Meanwhile, a 60-year-old man, injured in clashes in Anantnag district last week, died in the hospital on Monday, taking the toll in the current cycle of violence in Kashmir to 51.

Although restrictions remained in place in the old city and some uptown areas in Srinagar, after many days some normal activity was witnessed as more private vehicles and pedestrians were seen on many roads.

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani took part in a separatist-called anti-India graffiti campaign.

He painted an anti-India slogan on a wall in uptown Hyderpora area.

Separatists have asked people to paint anti-Indian graffiti and slogans on walls and roads as part of the peaceful protests during the ongoing shutdown in the Kashmir Valley.

Authorities imposed curfew and restrictions in most parts of the valley to maintain law and order.

The valley has been reeling under officially imposed curfew and the separatist-called protest shutdown for 24 days now since Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with the security forces on July 8.

Hotels, houseboats and guest houses are all deserted as tourists have left the valley because of the present cycle of violence.

Educational institutions, banks and post offices have also remained shut during this period although essential services are exempted from both curfew and the separatist shutdown, and have been functioning in the valley.

Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Leh national highways moves only during the night as protesters keep these highways blocked during the day, defying curfew restrictions.

The number of pilgrims arriving daily for the ongoing Amarnath Yatra has also been drastically reduced, but so far 2,18,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance to the deity inside the holy cave, while 21 yatris have died of natural causes during this year’s pilgrimage.

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