Foreign envoys’ visit: Lal Chowk shuts down for second straight day

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Lal Chowk, the commercial center of Srinagar, observed a shutdown for the second day as a delegation of foreign envoys, including ambassadors and diplomats from the European Union is in the region.

Shops in the city’s central hub were shut, however, traffic movement was close to normal.

Eyewitnesses told The Kashmir Walla that shopkeepers did not open their shops even as traffic plyed normally in the commercial stretch, “Maisuma is shut, so is the entire area around Ghanta Ghar,” Wasim Ahmad a local said.

On Wednesday, several parts of Srinagar’s downtown also remained shut while government forces’ personnel were deployed in the Nowhatta area. The security bandobast was heavy and a large number of the government forces’ personnel patrolled the city.

The delegation led by Ugo Astuto, an EU ambassador, arrived in Kashmir on a two-day visit and is scheduled to meet government-picked delegations.

This is the third visit of foreign envoys since the limited-autonomy of the erstwhile state was abrogated in August 2019.

Prior to their arrival, scores of government forces’ bunkers and barricades were dismantled across the city.

The delegation on Wednesday met civil society members in Budgam and also toured a lake and a historic mosque.

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