Srinagar: A complete shutdown was observed in Kashmir Saturday to protest the arrest of former Delhi University professor SAR Geelani and police crackdown on JNU students for organising an event on Afzal Guru and Kashmir’s freedom struggle.
The strike was called by various pro-freedom groups, which have termed the sedition charges against Geelani and JNU students as ‘preposterous’.
In old city, protestors clashed with police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in the Valley and traffic was sparse.
JKLF chief Yasin Malik, Hurriyat (G) leaders Ayaz Akbar and Peer Saifullah and Hurriyat (M) leader Shahid-ul-Islam and various pro-freedom leaders were either detained or put under house arrest. The strike also affected the attendance in government offices in Srinagar and other districts.
Three JNU students have been arrested on sedition charges for raising anti-India slogans during an event commemorating execution of Afzal Guru. SAR Geelani was also arrested on sedition and other charges for organising an event on Afzal Guru’s death anniversary.
Restrictions were put in place in Srinagar city and other major towns of the Valley, including Pampore. Forces laid concertina wires on bridges and important junctions to thwart public movement.
Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in strength across the city and other sensitive towns of the Valley to prevent anti-India protests.
Clashes erupted between youth and government forces at multiple places in the city including Rajouri Kadal and Habba Kadal.
A complete shutdown was also observed in north Kashmir areas of Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan, Palhalan, Sheeri, Rafiabad, Sangrama, Kunzar, Kupwara, Handwara, Kralpora, Trehgam, Bandipora, Sumbal, Safapora, Hajin and other major towns.
Similarly, major towns in south Kashmir including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Tral, Awantipora, Kakpora, Samboora, Mattan and Khadwani too observed a complete shutdown.
Meanwhile, in Jammu division, people took to streets in Kishtwar area to protest against the killing of a Muslim youth in Sarore area in Samba.
The protestors burnt tyres on road while demanding action against the accused in Samba incident.