Shut down against civilian killings cripples Kashmir

Srinagar/April,8: Normal life was Monday crippled due to strike called by separatists against the killing of eight youth in security force firing on anti-election protestors yesterday, when bypolls were held in Srinagar parliamentary constituency.
Meanwhile, authorities have imposed restriction on assembly of more than four people in some parts of Budgam, Ganderbal and downtown Srinagar to prevent violence and protests against civilian killings yesterday. Internet service of all cellular companies, including Bharat
Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Broadband, also remained suspended for the second day Monday, badly affecting media personal and professionals besides students in the Kashmir valley.
Official sources said restrictions under section 144 CrPc have been imposed in some parts of central Kashmir, including Chadoora, Chrar-e-Sharief, Kawoosa, Sogam and Dawlatpora in Budgam and Barsoo and adjoining areas in Ganderbal. Beside, restrictions have also been imposed in some parts of downtown Srinagar, they added.
Business and other activities were crippled Monday in summer capital, Srinagar and other major towns and tehsil headquarters in Kashmir valley in response to separatist call. However, some private vehicles, including two-wheelers, could be seen plying on few routes
in the city, particularly in civil lines.
Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), spearheading the agitation demanding ‘right to self determination’, have called for a two-day strike from Monday against civilian killings Sunday last.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in main business hubs the city, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of summer capital, Budshah chowk, Regal Chowk, Maisuma, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Batmaloo, Moulana Azad road, Residency road and
Dalgate. Meanwhile, all roads leading to Maisuma, stronghold of JKLF, were closed with barbed wires though pedestrian movement was allowed.
A complete shutdown was observed on separatist call on Sunday the poll day in Srinagar parliamentary constituency. Traffic was also off the roads and roadside vendors were also
missing Monday in Srinagar, where some private vehicles could be seen
plying on few routes. Work in government offices, banks and other financial institutions, was also affected as most employees could not make it to their offices due to non availability of public transport. Educational institutions also wore a deserted look as students stayed away due to strike.
Additional security forces, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding weapons and lathis in their hands, were seen patrolling the streets to prevent any untoward incident.
Streets wore a deserted look in old city parts with all shops and business establishments remained shut and traffic off the roads. Large number of security forces remained
deployed to maintain law and order.
Similar situation was also witnessed in the uptown with business and other activities remained paralysed. However, some private vehicles were seen plying, particularly on airport road.
Meanwhile, situation remained tense in Budgam, where restrictions have been imposed in some parts of the district, which witnessed massive clashes yesterday, resulting in death of seven teenagers in security force firing.
Hundreds of security force personnel, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding weapons and lathis in their hands, have been deployed to maintain law and order in Budgam, where shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the road.
Similar reports were also received from central Kashmir district of Ganderbal, where traffic was off the road and business and other activities were crippled in support of the strike called by separatists.
A report from Baramulla said life was crippled in this and other north Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters, where shops were closed and traffic was off the road. Work in government offices was also affected in entire north Kashmir. Additional security forces had been deployed in north Kashmir to prevent any law and order problem.
Even though the bridges connecting old town Baramulla with civil lines is open for vehicular movement, very less number of vehicles could be seen plying on it. A very less number of vehicles could be seen plying on Srinagar-Baramull and Uri highway.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding automatic weapons, were deployed in major towns and tehsil headquarters, said a report from Anantnag, where a complete shutdown was observed in support of the strike call.
The situation was no differed in other south Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters, including in Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama. Security has been stepped up along the national highway, which remained open for only one-way traffic.

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