PM, Gandhi to open rail tunnel

PM, Gandhi to open rail tunnelSrinagar, June 26 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi flew to Bannihal in Jammu region Wednesday to open a vital rail tunnel across the Pir Panjal mountain range.

The inauguration of the 10.96-km railway tunnel that will link the Kashmir Valley with Jammu region will mark the culmination of their two-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, authorities continued restrictions in many areas of Srinagar, the summer capital of the state where terrorists shot dead eight soldiers two days ago.

Many educational institutions remained closed Wednesday because school buses were not permitted to move on many roads in the city due to the restrictions.

The fashionable Boulevard Road remained out of bounds to the public for a second straight day as Manmohan Singh and Gandhi left the city for Bannihal.

“The security restrictions will be relaxed in the afternoon," a police officer said.

Separatist leaders who had called a protest Tuesday in the Kashmir Valley said there will be no shutdown Wednesday.

Few pedestrians and motorists were to be seen even in the otherwise busy markets in the uptown and downtown areas of Srinagar.

Meanwhile, separatist guerrillas struck again in Sopore town in northern Kashmir gunning down a businessman-turned-politician, Kifayat Hussain.

He had fought elections unsuccessfully from Sopore as an independent candidate in 2008. (IANS)

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