Srinagar: A complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir on Sunday on the call of the joint resistance leadership (JRL) to protest against union home minister Rajnath Singh’s visit.
The state government had taken preventive measures in view of the strike call and the deployment of troops was increased, especially in Anantnag district where Singh went on Sunday to interact with J&K Police and CRPF men.
Train services on the Baramulla-Banihal route had also been suspended in view of the security threat.
Reports of complete shutdown were received from districts across Kashmir. Some movement of vehicles in Batamaloo and Lal Chowk areas in Srinagar was seen, but business establishments in these markets were completely shut.
The JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for the strike, to “prove to the world community and the Indian leadership that using military might against people and harassing their leaders cannot crush the genuine and people’s movement in Kashmir.”
In Srinagar, authorities imposed strict restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC in areas under the jurisdiction of six police stations of Nowhatta, MR Gunj, Rainawari, Khanyar, Safakadal, and Maisuma.
Residents of these areas complained of harassment by the government forces. The restrictions were imposed for the third consecutive day in these areas. “We don’t know when we are free to move. The deployment of government forces near my home has not been removed since Friday,” said a resident of Khanyar.
People from other localities of Srinagar said they were being “unnecessarily stopped and questioned”. “Roads have been sealed and we were not allowed to move towards Nallahmar road,” said a commuter.
Witnesses said that the forces had also erected concertina wires on roads, which resulted in traffic problems in many Srinagar areas.
Reports coming from Shopian district said that a complete shutdown was observed there. “Traffic was off the roads and shops and business establishments remained completely closed,” said an eyewitness.
Locals from Anantnag said that a complete shutdown was observed in the district. “Additional deployment of government forces was made in the area,” said a local.
Eyewitnesses said that government forces had stopped traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway for VIP movement.
Reports of shutdown also came from Pulwama and Kulgam districts, where people stayed indoors and government forces maintained a tight vigil.
Reports coming from Baramulla and Kupwara districts said that there was “less impact” of the strike call. “There was some movement of vehicles and some shops were open,” said eyewitnesses.
However, reports from Sopore town said that a complete shutdown was observed and vehicles stayed off the roads.
Reports of a shutdown also come from Budgam and Bandipora districts. Locals said that a partial shutdown was observed in Magam and Beerwah where thin movement of traffic was witnessed.
A complete shutdown was observed in Bandipora district, but some movement of traffic was witnessed during the day.