Srinagar: Markets, transport, schools and colleges remained closed across Kashmir Valley on Monday in response to the Joint Resistance Leadership’s call for a shutdown to protest the “government onslaught” in south Kashmir and as a show of solidarity with Kashmiri prisoners.
A day ahead of the shutdown, the government had placed JRL leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest while Yasin Malik was picked up from his Maisuma residence and sent to Central Jail Srinagar.
Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house detention at his Hyderpora residence since 2010, while his deputy Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai has been detained at his Baghat home for many days now. A Hurriyat Conference source said that several of its leaders and activists, including Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, and Mohammad Yaseen Attai, were detained ahead of the shutdown call.
Rail services between southern and northern parts of Kashmir were suspended as a “precautionary measure”.
In Srinagar, authorities imposed restrictions in many areas of Srinagar to prevent protests, official sources said.
“Restrictions under Section 144 CrPc have been imposed in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal. Partial restrictions were imposed in Maisuma and Kralkhud,” the officials said.
“Strict restrictions were in place in Old Srinagar,” eyewitnesses said. “Even cops were seen playing cricket on deserted roads.”
In uptown and Batamaloo areas of Srinagar, light movement of public and private traffic was witnessed, but routine life remained disturbed.
Later in the day, one Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper was injured when a petrol bomb was hurled at CRPF personnel deployed in Malik Angan locality of Srinagar’s Safa Kadal area.
The injured trooper, Raj Kumar of E1-44 battalion, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for burn injuries to his hand, a CRPF official said.
Soon after the incident, government forces cordoned off the area.
Reports reaching from Anantnag and Pulwama districts said that a shutdown was observed in most areas and there was thin movement of traffic during the day.
In Shopian, reports said, shops and business establishments were shut and thin movement of traffic was seen during the day.
A complete shutdown was observed in Sopore town where a minor stone-pelting incident was also reported early in the day.
In Ganderbal, reports said that shops remained shut throughout the day but traffic plied on the roads. Similar reports were received from Bandipora, but the situation remained tense all day in Hajin town, where government forces launched a cordon and search operation that was resisted by the locals.
A complete shutdown was observed across the northern parts of Kashmir. All shops and other business centres in Baramulla, Pattan, Rafiabad, Handwara, Kupwara and Kralpora remained closed, though movement of private and public transport was noticed on the roads.
To avoid any untoward incident, a large number of government forces were deployed in all the major towns of Baramulla and Kupwara districts but no report of any clashes was received till the time this report was filled.