Kashmir shuts against civilian killings

Kashmir shuts against civilian killings

Srinagar, May 17: Life came to a grinding halt as shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in Kashmir valley on Friday due to a strike called by separatists against ‘no let-up in killings during the holy month of Ramadhan’.
A police official said curfew-like restrictions remained imposed only in some parts of Pulwama though security forces have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order across the valley.
However, all roads leading to historic Jamia Masjid in the down town Srinagar have been closed as a precautionary measure to prevent any demonstration after Friday prayers.
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, could be seen plying on some routes.
Business and other activities was also 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 this 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.
Security forces have also closed main road leading to Masjid, including at Rangar Stop, Nowhatta and Gojwara.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, has called for a strike on Friday and peacefully protests after prayers against, what they call as ‘no let-up in killings during Ramazan’.
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.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed for the second day to strictly impose curfew-like restrictions in Pulwama town and adjoining areas.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam on Friday in support of the strike.

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