Kashmir shuts against Awantipora teacher’s custodial death

Kashmir shuts against Awantipora teacher’s custodial death

Srinagar, Mar 20: Life came to a grinding halt on Wednesday in Kashmir valley due to a strike called by separatists against the death of principal of a private school Rizwan Asad Pandit in police custody on Tuesday.
Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of M R Gunj, Nowhatta, Rainawari, Safa Kadal and Khanyar in the downtown as a precautionary measure to prevent any law and order problem.
Meanwhile, all gates of historic Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, have also been locked and nobody was being allowed to enter the worship place.
The government on Tuesday evening ordered magisterial inquiry into the custodial death of the principal Rizwan Asad Pandit
Shops and business establishments were closed though good number of private vehicles, besides cabs and three-wheelers, could be seen plying on some routes in Srinagar.
Business and other activities were 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.
Work in government offices and banks was affected due to strike in the valley, where educational institutes were also closed on Wednesday after reopening on March 11 following end of over three-month-long winter vacations.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) — comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz and Mohammad Yaseen Malik — had called for a strike on Wednesday against the death of the youth in police custody.
A report from Anantnag said life was crippled in this and other south 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 south Kashmir, including Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian, to prevent any law and order problem.
Security has also been beefed up along Srinagar-Jammu national highway to prevent any protests.
Life also came to a grinding halt in central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal in support of the strike called by separatists.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel were deployed in major towns and tehsil headquarters to stop protests, said a report from north Kashmir, where business and other activities were crippled and traffic was off the roads in support of the strike.
Meanwhile, train service was on Wednesday suspended for security reasons in the Kashmir valley.
We have suspended all train runs in the Kashmir valley today after receiving an advisory from divisional administration and police last night, a senior railway official said Wednesday morning.
He said, therefore, no train will run on Srinagar-Budgam and Baramulla in north Kashmir. Similarly, no train will also chug on Badgam-Srinagar-Anantnag-Qazigund in south Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu region, he added.
However, it is the passengers, particularly shuttling between Baramulla to Banihal, who suffer most due to non availability of train service which has become very popular. Train service is being considered fast, safe and cheap against other mode of transport available in the valley, where traffic jam because of dilapidated roads.
He said railway authorities are acting on the advice of local administration keeping in view safety and security of passengers and railway officials and property. In the past railway suffered huge damage during demonstrations and other violence, particularly during strike.