Srinagar: Kashmir valley and all the major towns in Chenab valley including Doda, Bhaderwah, Banihal, Thathri, Gandwah, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch on Thursday observed a complete shutdown on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), to protest the hearing of petitions against Article 35A in the Supreme Court on Friday.
A complete shutdown was also observed in the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch in the Pir Panjal mountains region.
All shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while traffic was mostly off the roads in these areas.
Authorities imposed restrictions in Srinagar parts to prevent protests. The restrictions were imposed in Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, Khanyar and Maharaj Gunj police station areas while partial restrictions were imposed in Maisuma and Kral Khud police station areas.
Government forces also erected barricades at all the entry and exit points of downtown areas of Srinagar where commuters were frisked thoroughly.
Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani continued to be under house detention while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained inside his Nigeen residence. JKLF chairperson Yasin Malik went into hiding to avoid arrest. He is scheduled to lead a protest on Friday against the hearing in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, protests were held at several places across Kashmir. The protesters demanded that the petitions challenging Article 35A be dismissed by the Supreme Court.
In Srinagar, the Industrialists Association of Khonmoh (IAK) held a protest march. The protesters assembled at Press Enclave and later marched towards Ghanta Ghar.
Traders in Langate Handwara took out a similar protest march.
Reports said that scores of residents of Tral township, including members of Sikh community, held a protest in which members of trade unions also took part.
In the frontier district of Kupwara, residents of Tangdhar and Karnah areas held a protest demonstration. Reports said that people from all age groups assembled at the main market Tanghdar and staged a protest.
A complete shutdown was also observed in twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch districts of Pir Panjal region. In Rajouri, most of the business establishments in the main town, including in Gujjar Mandi market, Kheora market, Abdullah bridge market and several other parts remained closed while private passenger vehicles were off the roads.
In Poonch, all shops and business establishments were closed while traffic was off the roads.
A complete bandh was also observed in Mandi town of Poonch.
The railway authorities suspended train services on the Baramulla-Banihal track as a “precautionary measure”.
The JRL, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, had called for a two-day shutdown on August 30 and 31 to protest the hearing in the Supreme Court.