Shutdown over arrests continues in Baramulla, B’pora

Baramulla: A complete shutdown was observed in Baramulla and Bandipora towns of north Kashmir for the second consecutive day Saturday against arrest of youths.
Shops and business establishments remained closed along with schools and other educational
institutes in the Baramulla town. The traffic was also off the roads in response to the strike call given by local traders’ federation against the arrest of youths and alleged police atrocities.
Reports said that the police had closed Khanpora, SRTC, Cement and Azaidgung bridges to prevent movement of people towards the old town areas.
General Secretary Traders Federation Baramulla Er Farooq Ahmad said that a joint committee of Traders federation, transporters, and Auqaf-i-Islami met the officers of police department and Deputy Commissioner Baramulla at DC office.
“We put forward our three demands which include release of the arrested youths, compensating those who suffered damage to properties in police action, and transfer of the SHO Baramulla,” he said.
Even as the officials assured to look into the matter, he said, that traders have decided to continue with the shutdown until their demands are met.
When contacted, SP Baramulla, Suhail Ahmad, declined to comment about the meeting with joint committee of traders.
Meanwhile, reports reaching from the neighboring Sopore town said that normal life resumed after a few minor clashes during the morning.
All the shops and other business establishments opened at around 11 am after police released some of the arrested youths, the President Traders Federation Sopore Haji Mohammad Ashraf Ganie said.
“As maximum arrested youths were released and police has also assured us that other youths will be released by tomorrow (Sunday), we decided to resume normal activity,” he said.
Meanwhile, reports of complete strike on second running day were also received from Bandipora town where shops and business establishments remained closed along with schools and other educational institutions against the arrest of youths.
At Noopora, scores of people including women held a sit-in protest called by the local trader federation in demand of release the arrested youth.
“We will continue with protest and shutdown if arrested persons are not released,” Mohammad Yousuf, president of the local the federation said.
Meanwhile, local Bar Association has also endorsed the strike and stayed away from courts in protest.