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Barring Shopian and Pulwama, Valley returns to normal..

Life limped back to normal in the Valley which observed a strike for three consecutive days against the k.illing of militants and civilians in southern Kashmir and Srinagar at the hands of government forces during the past week.However, Shopian district, where five militants were killed on Sunday, the strike continued. Shutdown continued in neighbouring Pulwama district also.In Kashmir’s commercial hub, Lal Chowk, the majority of shopkeepers had hung black flags from their shops as a mark of protest against the killings. The call for wearing black badges, hoisting black flags atop shops and vehicles, had been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. The trio had also urged people to resume normal activities from today.

Farhan Kitab, media secretary of Kashmir Economic Alliance, said almost all shops in Lal Chowk protested against the killing of “innocent killings” by displaying black flags.

Eight militants and seven civilians were killed in Southern districts of Kashmir and Srinagar last week.

Except for higher secondary schools and colleges, the majority of educational institutions resumed class work.In Downtown Srinagar, where majority of areas remained under stringent curbs for the past three consecutive days, people heaved a sigh of relief. “Hustle and bustle returned to Downtown markets with people coming out in large numbers early morning for their daily chores,” said Reyaz Ahmed, a resident of Nowhatta. Police deployed outside residences of Geelani and Mirwaiz ensured the duo remained under house arrest.

JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in Kothibagh police station along with Front leader Noor Muhammad Kalwal.

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