Normal life was affected on Thursday in Kashmir Valley due to a strike called by separatists to protest against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Reports said that almost all the shops and other business establishments remained closed while vendors were also not in sight in centre centre Lal Chowk in Srinagar city. Some private vehicles were seen plying, however, public transport was off the roads. Educational institutions, government offices and banks remained off on account of the holiday for Diwali.
Reports said that in adjoining areas of Srinagar city including Batamaloo, Bemina, Ram Bagh, Sonawar, Dalgate, Batwara, shops were seen open while public transport ferried passengers to district headquarters as usual.
Stringent security measures were put in place to ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir passes off peacefully. Undeclared restrictions were imposed in different areas of Srinagar’s old city. CRPF and Police personnel were seen busy in checking and frisking bikers and pedestrians.
Separatists groups including Hurriyat G,JKLF and HCJK had called for a general strike in protest against the Prime Minister’s visit. The call was supported by Syed Asia Andrabi and Syed Sallahuddin and other groups.
Almost all the separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Muhammad Yasin Malik and other separatist leaders were either detained or placed under house arrest. To thwart any kind of protest, heavy security was deployed in sensitive areas all across Kashmir.
Eyewitness told CNS, “In different areas of Old Srinagar city including Nowhatta, Saraf Kadal, Gojwara, Kawdara, Khanyar, Rajouri Kadal, police and paramilitary CRPF men were deployed in large numbers to impose restrictions. Most of the roads and streets were barricaded by concertina wires to check pedestrian and vehicular movement. However, no restrictions were put in place in City Centre Lal Chowk and other areas of Up town.
Elsewhere in the Valley, according to reports shutdown was observed with shops and other business establishments remaining closed, however public and private transport was seen plying on the roads.
Eyewitness told CNS complete shutdown was observed in Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Kupwara districts of North Kashmir. Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were deployed in strength in north Kashmir’s volatile Sopore town to prevent any protests. Life was also paralyzed by the strike in south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama. Shops were also seen closed in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Meanwhile, a senior police official said situation across the valley remained peaceful and that there were no reports of any untoward incidents from anywhere.