Strike cripples life in Kashmir

Strike cripples life in Kashmir
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Srinagar, Aug 15: Amid a complete shutdown called by Joint Resistance Leadership, August 15 functions across Kashmir Valley passed off peacefully, while Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was used for surveillance in and around Cricket Stadium Sonwar Srinagar, the venue for main function.
Shops and business establishments in Srinagar remained closed while vehicular traffic also remained off the roads. Police, paramilitary and Army vehicles were plying on the deserted roads of Kashmir. Some private vehicles were seen plying on these roads.
The shutdown call was given by Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muahammad Yasin Malik and it was supported by other groups including United Jihad Council.
Reports of complete shutdown were also received from Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore, Baramulla and Bandipora districts of north Kashmir. South Kashmir’s Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts also observed complete shutdown.
The authorities put in place stringent security arrangements in an around Cricket Stadium in Srinagar and other district headquarters.
Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras were used to monitor the movement of people and sleuths of Special Security Guards (SSGs) were witnessed monitoring the activities of the participants with binoculars on high rise buildings around the stadium. During the August 15 function at Cricket Stadium, UAV hovered over the area and its movement was being controlled from Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar.
Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary forces were deployed outside the stadium and were witnessed carrying out patrolling of the deserted streets around the stadium and of other roads of Srinagar.
In old Srinagar, armored vehicles were on standby on road junctions while large number of forces was deployed to thwart any protest demonstration. Undeclared restrictions remained in vogue in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Khanyar, MR Gunj, Nowhatta, Safakadal and Rainawari.
Police said that they had laid additional nakas to thwart ‘any effort to disrupt peace’ at scores of places in Srinagar and other towns of Kashmir. Heavy deployment of forces was witnessed at scores of places in Srinagar that included Khanyar, Nowhatta, Bohri Kadal, Hawal, Rajouri Kadal, and Eidgah. The deployment of forces was also witnessed in sensitive areas of civil lines.
Commercial hub Lal Chowk was put out of bounds for public since early Wednesday morning and the roads leading to the area were sealed at many places with razor wire and armored vehicles.
Majority of the separatist leaders were either placed under house arrest or lodged into police stations.
A police officer said that August 15 functions passed off peacefully across Kashmir Valley. (CNS)