Shutdown in Kashmir on day of election

Shutdown in Kashmir on day of election

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley on Tuesday wore a deserted look in response to the shutdown call given by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to boycott the parliament elections being held in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The shutdown was also directed against the ill-treatment meted out to JRL leader Yasin Malik in Delhi’s Tihar jail, and against the “ongoing aggression” of NIA and ED against Kashmiri resistance leaders, activists, business and trade leaders, kith and kin of resistance leaders, and other people from different walks of like.
The JRL comprising of octogenarian Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairperson Muhammad Yasin Malik had called for a valley-wide protest shutdown on Tuesday.
A spokesperson of the JRL had said: “NIA’s highhandedness has in fact forced senior resistance leader Muhammad Yasin Malik to go on hunger strike and today his hunger strike has entered 12th day. The life of ailing Yasin Malik who is admitted at RML Hospital Delhi is in danger.”
He said that the shutdown has also been called against the highway ban on civilian vehicles and the suspension of cross-LoC trade with the Pakistani side of Kashmir.
The shutdown was held amid intensified security arrangements, especially in volatile areas like downtown Srinagar. All shops and private business establishments remained closed while public transport went off the roads in the city. Schools, colleges, universities had already been ordered closed by the government.
To prevent people from holding any protest demonstration, restrictions had been imposed in several city areas. Large contingents of police and paramilitary CRPF in anti-riot gear were deployed since 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 including at Gojwari, Rajouri Kadal, Safa Kadal, Khanyar, Nowhatta , Rainawari and Kralkhud.
Minor clashes were reported in Habba Kadal, Fatha Kadal, Saraf Kadal, and Zaldagar areas in the old city.
In Anantnag district, where elections were held today, the roads were deserted and there was no public transport. Government offices and all educational institutions had an official holiday because of the elections. Internet had already been snapped in the district a day ago.
In north Kashmir, a partial shutdown was observed. Most shops and business centres including some tuition centres were closed and public transport was not plying in Baramulla, Sopore, Handwara, Kupwara, Bandipora, Hajin and Pattan areas. There was, however, private transport plying on the roads.