Normalcy returns to Jammu after 63 days of unrest

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Jammu, Sep 1 : Jammu bounced back to normalcy on Monday after 63 days of unrest over shrine land row.

Jammu city and adjoining districts returned to normal life today as market places opened and traffic plied on roads after an over two-month long shutdown.

Market places, government offices, schools, banks and universities reopened and traffic plied on the road as usual, a day after a "broad agreement" was reached between a four member Governor's panel and Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS), which was signed in wee hours of Sunday morning after marathon nine hours long meetings.

Shopkeepers cleaned their shops before reopening them in main markets, which were littered with spent tear-gas shells, half burnt tyres and effigies during the agitation.

The locals welcomed the restoration of normalcy after days of violent protests and agitation over the issue of allotment of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for setting up temporary shelters for the devotees taking part in the annual Amarnath pilgrimage.

"Though the supplies are not good enough but still we are getting enough material. People are coming to make their purchases. It is a thing of great joy, people are very happy," said Neelesh Kumar, a shopkeeper.

The police have removed all the temporary barricades and barbed wire fencing as authorities lifted curfew in Jammu, Samba, Udhampur, Kathua and Reasi Districts last night.

Police however, continuing to maintain a close vigil in these areas.

In a landmark decision, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to let the Amarnath shrine board make temporary use of 40-hectares of land during the pilgrimage period.

The row over the land allocated for setting up temporary facilities for Hindu pilgrims visiting Amarnath cave shrine in Kashmir valley and later its withdrawal had snowballed into large-scale protests for about two months.

Hundreds of people were injured in clashes over the protests. The State, whose tourist brochures proclaim the Kashmir valley as "paradise on earth", has suffered more than one billion dollar in lost business.

ANI

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