Srinagar: A shutdown was observed on Tuesday against the arrest of seven pro-freedom leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Normal life was disrupted in parts of Srinagar due to strict restrictions imposed by the government after a call for shutdown was given by the joint resistance leadership.
As “precautionary measures”, restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in areas under five police stations in the old city: Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal.
People living in these areas complained of facing problems due to the restrictions.
“The restrictions cause a lot of inconvenience to us. They have become a norm,” a resident of Rainawari said.
“Forces that remain deployed in strength during the restrictions don’t allow the movement of vehicles as they seal all roads with concertina wires and barricades since early morning,” said Ghulaam Mohammad of Rainawari.
Residents of Safa Kadal alleged that government forces did not allow free public movement. They said restrictions were imposed to prevent people from taking to streets to protest against the arrests of seven pro-freedom leaders by the NIA.
Shops, restaurants, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed in Srinagar and other districts headquarters across Kashmir. However, public as well as private transport plied normally during the day.
Train services between Baramulla and Banihal remained suspended for the day.
The NIA arrested seven pro-freedom leaders on charges of “terror funding” in Kashmir on Monday. The arrested leaders are Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Altaf Ahmed Shah alias Fantoosh, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid ul Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, and Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate. They were taken into 10 days’ custody on Tuesday after being produced before the special NIA judge at Patiala House in New Delhi.