Srinagar: Restrictions that were imposed in Kashmir in view of Friday prayers were lifted on Saturday (August 23). Strict curbs were in place till Saturday as separatists had proposed a march to UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan in Sonawar. The situation remained normal on Sunday.

Now, there are no more day-time restrictions in 69 police station limits in Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir principal secretary Rohit Kansal told reporters.

Barricades were removed from most areas but concertina wire barriers remained in place on roads in some areas of Srinagar. Security forces allowed the movement of people only after checking their identity cards.

Official statement of Kashmir returning to normalcy was based on the fact that traffic movement increased and attendance in offices also improved on Saturday.

But it can be noted that public transport remained off roads and markets were shut for the 20th day. Instead, vendors have put up stalls in Batamaloo and Lal Chowk areas of Srinagar.

"The total dispatch of fruits this year has been 1.20 lakh metric tonnes against 89,000 metric tonnes during the corresponding period last year despite the restrictions," said Kansal, speaking to news agency PTI.

About 1,500 primary schools and 1,000 middle schools are functioning since August 5. But the attendance of students has remained thin, he added.

Security forces were maintaining a close watch and local disturbances were being handled at the local level. Incidents of protests and stone pelting have declined steadily in the past one week. Only three incidents reported on August 21 and two on August 22, Kansal said.

Security forces are maintaining a state of high alert  as threat of cross-border terrorism, however, continues to exist, he said.

Speaking about communication facilities, Kansal said that restoration of landline telephone services is being reviewed continuously and eight new exchanges comprising 5,300 phones are likely to be restored by Monday (August 26).

(With PTI inputs)