Kashmir shuts on PM’s arrival
Restrictions in old Srinagar; Separatists confined to houses
The Government Thursday imposed restrictions in old Srinagar areas while Kashmir observed a shutdown to protest the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir. Most of the pro-freedom leadership was put under house arrest.
The strike was called by Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Chairman Hurriyat Conference JK, Shabir Ahmad Shah.
Officials said restrictions were imposed in areas under five Police Stations of old Srinagar “as a precautionary measure.” The police stations included Khanyar, MaharajGunj, Nowhatta, Safakadal and Rainawari.
Residents of old Srinagar areas said the government forces arrived in their localities before the dawn. The forces, they said, had erected barricades and sealed several roads with razor wire.
In other areas of Srinagar including the Civil Lines, contingents of police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were deployed to thwart any protest demonstrations.
Elsewhere in Kashmir, shops and other business establishments remained closed while skeletal private transport plied on intra and inter-district roads.
Reports of shutdown were received from all towns of central, north and south Kashmir.
“The day passed off peacefully. There was no report of any untoward incident anywhere,” said a senior police officer.
Later in the evening, reports said youth hit the streets in main Bandipora market and staged demonstrations against Modi’s visit. As the youth tried to attack contingents of police and CRPF personnel, the latter chased the angry youth, triggering clashes. The clashes continued on Srinagar-Gurez road, near GulshanChowk link road.
Partial shutdown was observed in Hajin, Sumbal and Naidkhi townships of the district.
SEPARATISTS CONFINED TO HOUSES
Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Hurriyat Conference JK Chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah and National Front Chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan were placed under house arrest.
“Government of India acted did nothing to mitigate the sufferings of the flood affected (people)… We will not allow anyone to rub salt into our wounds,” said a spokesman of Hurriyat (G) in a statement. “Modi didn’t wish Muslims on Eid; his celebrating Diwali in the Muslim-majority state is unacceptable.”
Media advisor to Hurriyat Conference (M), Shahid-ul-Islam said a posse of police and paramilitary CRPF was deployed at the Nigeen residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and he was asked not to venture out of his house.
Chairman JKLF Muhammad Yasin Malik was placed under house arrest last night at his sister’s residence at Kanipora.
Malik has been living at his sister’s residence in view of the damage caused to his Maisuma house by the recent floods.
A JKLF spokesman said Police raided the houses JKLF leaders Showkat Ahmad Bakshi, Bashir Kashmiri and activist Fayaz Ahmad, last night.
JKLF Chairman, according to the spokesman, termed the visit of Prime Minister NarendraModi to Kashmir as a “political gimmick and an unsuccessful act to hoodwink international community.”
“By spending most of his time with Army and forces at Saichen, Indian PM actually proved that he, under the pretext of consoling flood victims, actually intended to celebrate Diwali with his army and forces,” Malik said.
National Front Chairman and Hurriyat (JK) leader, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, said that restriction on pro-freedom leaders ahead of Indian Prime Minister’s visit proves that the visit was political and aimed at gaining political benefits.