Kashmir Observes Complete Shutdown Against ‘Sainik Colony’, KP Townships

Zafar Aafaq

SRINAGAR

Deserted Lal Chowk in Srinagar, as all shops and business establishments shut during a general strike called by All Party Hurriyat Conference on Thursday. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Deserted Lal Chowk in Srinagar, as all shops and business establishments shut during a general strike called by All Party Hurriyat Conference on Thursday. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

A complete shutdown was Thursday observed in Kashmir Valley against the government’s proposal over Sainik and Pandit colonies.

All the shops, other business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed while public traffic was off on roads.

Geelani, Mohammed Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had met in Hyderpora a few days ago at Geelani’s residence to chalk out a plan against government decision to set up “Sainik Colony” in valley.

The meeting of the trio is seen as a major development towards the unity of separatist camp.

In its joint statement the leaders had called for a complete shutdown on May 26, 2016 (Thursday) and peaceful protest demonstration after Friday congregational prayers on 27 May against the proposed plans of creation of the separate clusters for the Pandits, establishing of “Sainik Colony”, harassment of the Jammu Muslims, BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh’s warning to the Jammu Muslims of repeating 1947 carnage, induction of new anti-Kashmir industrial policy and the attempts of demographic changes in the Jammu & Kashmir.

However, private vehicles and cabs were moving in the Srinagar city and district headquarters.

Government offices recorded a thin attendance of the employees as they could not reach their office due to non-availability of public transport.

According to the reports, the districts including Baramulla, Pulwama, Kupwara, Islamabad and other towns also observed complete shutdown, with very few private vehicles plying on roads.

Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in sensitive places in Downtown and Maisuma localities of the city and in towns to thwart any protests by youth.

A top police official told KNS that no restrictions were imposed in any part of the valley, adding that, “The situation across the Valle remained peaceful throughout the day.”

Both the factions of Hurriyat and JKLF jointly called for shutdown against the recent controversial issues including new industrial policy, ‘Sainik Colony’, and separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits.

The three leaders forged “issue based unity” on the recent controversial issues and decided to hold joint programmes to counter “RSS’s anti-Kashmir plans”.

As Kashmir observed a complete shutdown against proposed exclusive KP Townships and Sainik Colony in Valley, foreign tourists rest in Lal Chowk on Thursday amid pin drop silence. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
As Kashmir observed a complete shutdown against proposed exclusive KP Townships and Sainik Colony in Valley, foreign tourists rest in Lal Chowk on Thursday while tasting Kashmiri Cherry. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Meanwhile, most of the separatist leaders were placed under house arrest on Wednesday.

The leaders including Hurriyat Conference (g) chairperson, Syed Ali Geelani and Democratic Freedom Party chief, Shabir Ahmad Shah were already under house detention while Hurriyat Conference (m) chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Jammu Kashmir National Front chief, and Hurriyat Conference (g) leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi were placed under house detention on Wednesday.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik was on Thursday afternoon detained from his office at Abi Guzar Srinagar.

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