Shutdown across Kashmir; Restrictions in Srinagar

Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik under house arrest

The Government Monday imposed restrictions in areas of Srinagar while normal life was disrupted across Kashmir due to a general strike called by separatist leaders against “landing of Indian forces in the Valley on this day in 1947.” Sporadic protests were also reported from some places.

The shutdown was called by Hurriyat Conference (G), Hurriyat Conference (M); Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), United Jihad Council, Hurriyat Conference JK  and other separatist groups. Chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference were put under house arrest.
The restrictions were imposed in Srinagar areas falling under five police stations including Nowhatta, Khanyar, M R Gunj, Zadibal and Safakadal.
Reports said hundreds of cops and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were deployed in old Srinagar to thwart any protest demonstrations. The forces had erected barricades, laid concertina wire and blocked roads with armored vehicles to restrict civilian movement, they added.
In other parts of Srinagar, authorities had deployed contingents of police and CRPF to foil any protest demonstrations. There was little impact of strike call in uptown areas of Srinagar as majority of shops and business establishments were open in Ram Bagh, Natipora, Sonawar and Sanat Nagar areas.
Reports said police Monday detained a youth who held a sit-in at Press Enclave here to protest the “failure” of the United Nations to implement its resolutions on Kashmir. The masked youth, clad in black attire, was later identified as Sami-ullah of Chattabal area of Srinagar. He was holding a banner which read: “The Day when Freedoms were snatched; Leave illegally-held Kashmir, and respect UN resolutions.”
Protests were reported from Maisuma area of Srinagar on Monday. Reports said groups of youth took to streets and held a protest demonstration.
Witnesses said the youth burnt tyres on Maisuma intersection to register their protest early Monday morning.  Police, reports said, burst tear smoke shells and dispersed them.
“In view of law and order situation and to avoid breach of peace and tranquility,
restrictions on movement of public and transport under Section 144 CrPC were imposed in jurisdiction of five Police Stations,” a senior police official said here, adding, “The day passed off peacefully.”
Elsewhere in Kashmir, shops and other business establishments were closed. The traffic on inter-district routes also witnessed disruption. The strike had an impact on attendance in Government offices.
Reports said normal life was disrupted in districts of Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore, Bandipora and other major towns of north Kashmir in response to the separatist-sponsored strike call. A late evening report from Baramulla said minor incidents of stone pelting were witnessed a Khanpora bridge.
Reports from Bandipora town said shops, business establishments and other commercial units remained closed and traffic remained off the roads.
Reports from south Kashmir said shutdown was observed in Anantnag (Islamabad), Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts and the authorities had deployed large number forces in major towns to thwart any protest demonstrations
Senior separatist leaders including Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, Democratic Freedom Party Chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah, National Front chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Hurriyat (M) leader Zaffer Akber Bhat were put under house arrest.
A JKLF spokesman said Malik was placed under house arrest from last night at his sister’s residence at Bagat-I-Kani Pora. While condemning police action like arrests, house arrests, curfew and restrictions, Malik said: “October 27 remembers us that how India is ridiculing its own freedom struggle and undermining the freedom of a nation, forcefully; how its various governments failed to fulfill their own commitments regarding the resolution of Kashmir dispute till date.”
Mirwaiz in a statement said by practically observing strike on October 27, “people have shown their complete commitment and resolve towards the freedom struggle for which the entire Hurriyat leadership is obliged to them.”
Apart from Mirwaiz, other senior Hurriyat leaders including Agha Syed Hassan Al Safvi and  Zaffar Akbar Bhat were also put under house arrest. Hakim Abdul Rashid and Engineer Hilal Ahmad war were locked-up in jails, a spokesman of the party said.
Senior APHC leader and Jammu Kashmir Peoples League Chairman, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza along with Hurriyat (M) leader Javaid Ahmad Mir and other party senior leaders including Imtiyaz Ahmad Reshi Monday led a protest demonstration. They raised pro-freedom slogans and pledged to take the struggle to its logical end.

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