Srinagar: People in Kashmir observed a shutdown on Saturday to mark the ‘Black Day’ when the Indian Army landed in Kashmir 71 years ago – on October 27. The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for the shutdown, as they do every year.
In view of the shutdown call, government authorities imposed restrictions in sensitive areas of Srinagar, especially in the old city. All shops and private business establishments, school, colleges and universities remained closed in Srinagar and public transport was absent from the roads.
To prevent people from holding any protest demonstrations, large contingents of police and paramilitary in anti-riot gear were deployed from the morning. Concertina wires were laid across roads at several places to prevent movement of both pedestrians and vehicles. Government forces installed road blocks at several routes in Gojwari, Rajouri Kadal, Safa Kadal, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari and Kralkhud areas.
The police detained some pro-freedom activists and restricted movement of others, spokespersons of pro-freedom groups said.
Witness said that clashes broke out in Nowshera area of Uri on Saturday evening after a team from police station Boniyar reached the area to arrest some youths. Local youths came out on the streets and on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad national highway where they clashed with the police team that had come to make the arrests.
Locals said that three persons were arrested by police in the area on Friday, but were released today. On Saturday, a few others were called by police to Boniyar police station but they refused to go. The police team had come to arrest them when local youths clashed with the police. The local youths hurled stones while policemen fired some tear smoke shells, locals said, adding that a policeman was injured in the clashes.
In north Kashmir, all shops and business centers in Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan, Rafiabad, Sheeri, Boniyar, Langate, Handwara, Kupwara, Kralpora, Lolab, Hajin, Bandipora and other areas remain closed while public transport remained suspended throughout the day.
A complete shutdown was also observed in central Kashmir’s Budgam district where all markets, private offices, educational institutions and petrol pumps remained shut. Reports of a complete shutdown were received from Magam, Budgam, Beerwah, Khansahab, Charar-e-sharief, Chadoora, Khag and many other areas.
As a precautionary measure, railway authorities had suspended train services on the Baramulla-Banihal route for the day.