Train services have been suspended on Tuesday, October 16, citing security reasons in the Kashmir Valley. Separatists have called for strikes in Srinagar and Ganderbal - poll-bound areas in the final stage of the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections. Local authorities have announced that no trains will run in the Srinagar-Badgam and Baramulla areas of northern Kashmir. Trains will also not run along the Budam-Srinagar-Islamabad-Qazigund route in southern Kashmir and to Banihal in Jammu. This is the fifth time train services have been suspended for security reasons in the Kashmir Valley since Monday, October 8. Further suspensions and train disruptions are to be expected in the coming weeks.
Kashmir Valley observed a shutdown on October 12 in the aftermath of the killing of militant Manan Wani. Wani and his associate, Ashiq Zargar, were killed in an encounter by security forces in Handwara district's Shatgund village in northern Kashmir on October 11. Separatist parties in Kashmir have called for further strikes in Srinagar and Ganderbal to protest the killing. Voter turnouts have been low in the final phases of the elections due to the anticipated escalation of separatist violence in northern Kashmir. Militants had issued threats to anyone participating in the polls, prompting candidates to refrain from campaigning.
Individuals in Kashmir are advised to monitor developments to the security situation, anticipate travel disruptions, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to parts of Kashmir, notably areas along the Line of Control (LoC), due to the significant risk of violence.