New Delhi: In what may be considered as the first signal of normalcy returning to Kashmir, the department of information and public relations, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, announced that all schools up to higher secondary level will open on October 3. colleges will open by or before October 9. The Valley has been on lockdown since August 5 as the Centre moved paramilitary forces ahead of abrogating Article 370. The lockdown entered the 57th consecutive day on Monday. Also Read - J&K: SC Issues Notice to Centre Over Article 370; Refers Batch of Pleas to Constitution Bench, Hearing From Tomorrow

Despite the presence of heavy security forces, the officials said no restrictions, barring the suspension of mobile services, were in place anywhere in the Valley.

According to a PTI report, main markets and other business establishments remained shut since August 5. The state authorities were trying to reopen its educational institutes, but parents want to keep their kids at home as there’s no communication yet in the Valley. Mobile services remained suspended in most of the parts except in Handwara and Kupwara.

Most of the top-level and second-rung separatists have been taken into preventive custody, while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest. Another former chief minister and the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, Farooq Abdullah, has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety Act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.

(With agency inputs)