From a grand welcome at a five-star hotel to a lunch organised by the Indian Army, the posh, tony area in heart of Srinagar looked surrealistically calm when the European Union lawmakers reached the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir. The state that would be officially bifurcated in less than 48 hours is being visited by the foreign dignitaries on a two-day trip. This is first-ever such trip by a foreign delegation since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. Driven around in bullet-proof, heavily militarised convoys, the European Parliamentarians spent the day 1 of the visit on Dal Lake swarmed by empty shikaras on Tuesday. Contrary to any semblance of normalcy, Srinagar wore a deserted look. There was a complete shutdown in the city. Not a single shop was opened for business. Sporadic incidents of stone-pelting and clashes were reported from in and around the city.
People put up blockades in at least five different places in Srinagar, including Downtown Srinagar and 90 Feet Road. Shops and business establishments were closed and transport off the roads due to the clashes. However, board examinations for Class 10 were held on schedule with worried parents waiting outside exam halls for their children.
Meanwhile, five migrant labourers from West Bengal were killed and another injured in a terrorist attack in Kulgam district of Kashmir on Tuesday evening, police said. According to reports, the labour has sustained bullet injuries in the leg. The injured has been identified as Zahuruddin, a daily wager from West Bengal. He was in his rented residence in Katrasoo village when he was attacked. He has been admitted to a hospital and stated to be out of danger, they said. The attack happened on a day a delegation of parliamentarians from the European Union is visiting Kashmir to talk to locals and ask them about their experience after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 on August 5.
The team originally comprised 27 parliamentarians, many from extreme right or right wing parties, but four did not travel to Kashmir and have reportedly returned to their respective countries, officials said without divulging any reason, PTI reported.