Srinagar: Routine life was affected in Kashmir Valley on Monday after business and trade establishments shut in protest against the summoning of business community leader Yasin Khan to the headquarters of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi.
A complete to partial shutdown was observed across the valley, and transport remained mostly off the roads. The authorities imposed restrictions in parts of downtown Srinagar and suspended rail services as a precautionary measure.
Mohammad Yasin Khan, President of the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association (KTMF) as well of the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), was asked to appear on Monday for questioning at the NIA headquarters. Khan reached Delhi and was questioned by NIA sleuths.
The call for shutdown on Monday was given by the KEA, and was supported by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
In Srinagar, shops and business establishments were completely closed and public transport was off the roads. However, some movement of vehicles was seen in the city. All shops and commercial establishments were closed in the business hub of Lal Chowk.
Life remained disrupted in downtown areas where restrictions were placed by authorities to prevent any protests.
Members of the KTMF held a sit-in protest demonstration inside the Pratap Park near Lal Chowk. Traders from different districts came and assembled inside the park soon after Khan flew to New Delhi.
Khan boarded a 7am flight to Delhi and was accompanied by three other members of the KTMF.
During their sit-in, the traders alleged that Khan was summoned to New Delhi because “he has been maintaining his stance that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory”.
“As far as the NIA notice is concerned, our president has been called to appear as a witness and not as an accused. I believe if the NIA wanted to record his statement, they could have done it in Srinagar,” one of the protesting traders told Kashmir Reader.
He added, “As Khan always spoke on behalf of traders, NIA wanted to put pressure on him to stop doing so.”
The protesters also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, by asking him to adopt the cleanliness campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, in politics.
Reports coming from north Kashmir said that a complete shutdown was observed in the region against the NIA’s summoning of Yasin Khan.
All shops and business establishments were close and traffic was thin on the roads in Baramulla, Sopore, Handwara, Kupwara, and Bandipora.
In south Kashmir’s Shopian, reports said that shops opened for some time in the morning but closed later in the day. Reports of stone-pelting were also received from the district.
In Anantnag, a complete shutdown was observed by traders and business establishments but shops remained open in Bijbehara, where a partial shutdown was observed.
Similar reports came from Kulgam district, where a partial shutdown was observed. Pulwama district, though, remained completely shut.
The authorities had issued a fresh advisory on Sunday night following which no train in the Valley was run on any route, including trains to Banihal in Jammu region.
The decision to resume train services on Tuesday will depend upon the advisory from police later in the day, an official said.