Life in Kashmir valley has been thrown out of gear in response to a strike call given by joint Hurriyat leadership to protest the killing of eight civilians on the election day on Sunday.
Shops, business establishments and government offices are closed. Traffic is also off the roads. Police and para-military forces are keeping a strict vigil. Kashmir Post correspondent reports that the anger against yesterday’s killing is palpable and situation is on the edge. The Hurriyat has given two day strike for Monday and Tuesday to register the protest.
Authorities are on tenterhooks to prepare for the bye election to Anantnag parliamentary seat where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tassaduq is fighting election against state Congress chief G A Mir and others.
Meanwhile the internet services continued to be remain suspended for the second.
The decision to extend the ban followed large scale violence during the by-poll for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency yesterday which claimed lives eight people in firing by forces. Dozens of civilians were also wounded.
Internet services in three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, which the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency straddles, were shut down Saturday night as a precautionary measure to prevent floating of rumours, officials told Kashmir Post. They said there were reports that Pakistan-based groups were engaged in spreading “disinformation” on the eve of polls. Though the ban was to be lifted immediately after today’s polling, the authorities decided to extend it across all districts of the valley till conclusion of the polling in Anantnag on April 12.
Kashmir Post has been updating its site from the Jammu office and media persons are facing lot of problem in communicating with respective offices.
Authorities on Monday made heavy deployment of police and Central Reserve Police Force to maintain law and order as the separatists called protest shutdown affected life across the Kashmir Valley.
“Etiquette deployments have been made to maintain the law and order situation on Monday,” a senior police official said here.
Eight protesters were killed when the security forces opened fire during the voting process in the Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary by-poll on Sunday.
Of these, seven were killed in Budgam and one died in Ganderbal district. Mobs attacked the polling stations, damaging the EVMs and ransacking the polling stations, at nearly 100 places in Budgam.
Separatists have called a two-day shutdown and protest against Sunday`s civilian killings.
Markets, public transports, education institutions, and other businesses remained closed here and other places in the valley.
The Kashmir University has postponed all examinations scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shant Manu on Sunday said re-poll would be held at 50 to 100 polling stations where violence had resulted in the disruption of the polling process.
Around seven percent votes were polled during Sunday`s by-poll which marked the lowest voter turnout in the last 27 years.
The CEO has said that the next phase of the by-poll would be held on schedule on April 12 in south Kashmir`s Anantnag parliamentary constituency.
Meanwhile, to check the spread of rumours by anti-social elements authorities have decided to suspend the Internet facility in the entire valley till April 12.