SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown was observed in poll-bound areas in Kashmir on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to boycott Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls. Shops and private business establishments remained closed while majority of the transport remained off the roads. Educational institutions also remained closed as the government had declared a holiday in areas where polls were scheduled.
Security was intensified across Srinagar with government forces erecting barricades around all areas where voting was to be held. Internet service was snapped in most parts of Kashmir while in Srinagar the bandwidth was reduced to 2G.
No major protests were reported during the day, except for minor protests in Saki Daffar area of old Srinagar in the evening hours.
People in Budgam district also observed a complete shutdown. Areas including Magam, Beerwah, Khan Sahab, Charar-e-Sharief, Chadoora and main square Budgam saw all shops, business establishments and petrol pumps shut for the day. Some light traffic moment was seen on the roads.
As per reports, shutdown was observed in areas of Bandipora where polling was scheduled. However, a sizeable number of voters turned out to vote in Sumbal area of the district.
As per reports from Baramulla, streets wore a deserted look due to the shutdown. In district Kupwara, a partial shutdown was observed with some shops and business establishments staying open and normal traffic seen on the roads.
A complete shutdown was observed in many areas of south Kashmir but no clashes were reported.
JRL leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was put under house arrest to prevent him from carrying out an election boycott campaign. The second JRL leader, Muhammad Yasin Malik, had already been arrested earlier. The senior-most JRL leader, Syed Ali Geelani, continued to be under house arrest as usual.