SRINAGAR: Kashmir observed a complete strike against a spate of attacks on Kashmiri citizens and students in various parts of India and desecration of the graves of slain militants in south Kashmir.
Pro-freedom protesters, who were not allowed to protest peacefully, clashed with government forces in several parts of the Valley.
Both factions of pro-freedom Hurriyat Conference and JKLF had called for the shutdown. The Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Dukhtaran-e-Millat and Hizbul Mujahideen outfit had supported the shutdown call.
Most shops, business establishments, educational institutions and private offices remained closed while attendance in government offices was very low. Public transport was largely off roads, but private vehicles were plying normally on most of routes.
Eyewitnesses said that the impact of shutdown was near-total in most parts of south Kashmir. In most of the north Kashmir areas including Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara and Bandipora, a complete shutdown was observed. Reports of clashes between protesters and government forces came from highway village of Palhalan near Pattan.
Eyewitness told Kashmir Reader that violent clashes erupted between youth and government forces at Nowhatta locality of old Srinagar besides Narbal and Pantha Chowk areas in city outskirts. Police resorted to heavy tear gas shelling to disperse the agitators.
Police sources said that a group of youth took out protest rally and hurled stones on police and paramilitary forces deployed there. Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob. However, no one was injured in the clashes.
Fearing protest demonstrations, the authorities had deployed additional police and paramilitary CRPF troopers in the Srinagar city. Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Umar Farooq were placed under ‘house arrest’ in Srinagar while JKLF leader Yasin Malik was taken into custody and lodged at a local police station on Sunday morning.