SHUTDOWN PARALYSES LIFE ACROSS VALLEY
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, Nov 19: Normal life across the valley was paralyzed Monday due to separatist-sponsored shutdown called against the continued detention of Muslim League chief Dr Qasim Faktoo.
The strike call was given by Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik. United Jihad Council (an amalgam of militant outfits) and Lashkar-e-Toiba had supported the call given by Geelani.
Shops, business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads. Schools, banks and government offices witnessed very thin attendance as no public transport was available to ferry the employees to their respective destinations. Though the day passed off peacefully, authorities had made elaborate security arrangements in every nook and corner of the valley to thwart any protest demonstration.
Early morning heavy contingents of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in sensitive areas in both civil lines and old Srinagar. Joint contingents of police and CRPF were witnessed patrolling the streets of Srinagar. Armored vehicles were seen at major road junctions to thwart any protest demonstration. In old Srinagar areas, police and paramilitary forces wearing battle gear patrolled the lanes and by-lanes. In Nowhatta, Safakadal, Zainakadal, Rainawari, MR Gunj and other places extra measures were taken by the law enforcing agencies to maintain law and order.
Police said Section 144 is already in place in Srinagar. “There was no untoward incident in any part of valley. We were ready to foil any protest demonstration,” a senior police officer told Greater Kashmir.
Reports of complete shutdown poured in from north, south and central Kashmir. In south Kashmir complete shutdown was observed in Islamabad (Anantnag), Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts. However, the vehicles coming from Jammu to Srinagar plied normally through south Kashmir.
In north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara, Handwara and Bandipora areas complete shutdown was observed. Shops were closed and no public transport plied on the roads.
A police spokesman said in the evening, “The day passed off peacefully with private transport plying normally in Srinagar and other towns. A minor incident of stone pelting was reported in Saraf Kadal, Srinagar, where some miscreants pelted stones on police and passing vehicles. The miscreants were chased away by the police. No one was hurt.”
On November 16, Jammu and Kashmir High Court dismissed the petition of Muslim League Chairman Dr Muhammad Qasim Faktoo seeking his release after completing 20 years in prison.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST
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