Kashmir shuts against ‘killing spree’

Kashmir shuts against ‘killing spree’

Srinagar, Nov 26: Life came to a grinding halt on Monday as shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads due to a strike called by separatists in Kashmir valley against the killing of a civilian and militants during the past about a week.
A police official said that they were no restrictions in any part of Kashmir valley, including the summer capital, Srinagar, though security forces have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order.
However, historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar was closed yet again as a precautionary measure to prevent any protests.
Shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the road in downtown, civil lines and uptown Srinagar though few private vehicles, particularly two-wheelers, besides three-wheelers, could be seen plying on some routes.
Business and other activities remained crippled in main business hubs of 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.
Additional security forces, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding weapons and lathis in their hands, were seen patrolling the streets in Srinagar areas to prevent any untoward incident.
All the gates of Jamia Masjid, stronghold of chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, are locked since Monday morning. A large number of security forces and state police personnel have been deployed in the Jamia market and outside the worship place to prevent people from entering there.
Work in government offices and banks also remained suspended while all educational institutes remained closed due to the strike in Kashmir valley, where train service was against suspended for security reasons.
Joint Resistance Alliance (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for a general strike on Monday against killing of a civilian and militants in the last about a week.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel were deployed to maintain law and order in major towns and tehsil headquarters in south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Pulwama, Anantnag and Shopian, where business and other activities were paralyzed and traffic was off the roads in support of the strike. Situation remained tense in south Kashmir, particularly in Shopian, where six militants were killed in an encounter while one civilian died while 15 others were injured during clashes with security forces on Sunday. A soldier was also martyred in the encounter on Sunday.
Security forces have also been deployed in strength along Srinagar-Jammu national highway to prevent protests.
Life also came to a grinding halt in central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal 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 in support of the strike. Additional security forces have been deployed in entire north Kashmir to prevent any law and order problem.