Jammu observed a complete shutdown Monday to protest Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's remark in the state assembly last month that Jammu and Kashmir had "acceded to and not merged with India."
All shops and business establishments remained closed, and traffic went off roads in Jammu city, where the state government offices re-opened for winter as part of the bi-annual 'durbar move'.
The seat of the government shifts to Jammu during winter months, while it stays in Srinagar for six months of summer and autumn.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena Monday called for the bandh or shutdown to coincide with the opening of 'durbar'.
Omar, in his speech on October 6, in the state assembly, said that Jammu and Kashmir had "acceded to India under unique circumstances and it had not merged with India". He also said that "Kashmir was an international issue", while stressing for inclusion of Pakistan in the "final settlement of the issue".
Omar's remarks created a furore in the state and other parts of the country. The BJP termed it as an "anti-national" statement and demanded that the chief minister be sacked.
"The overwhelming response to our bandh call shows that the people are against the observations of chief minister. He should be removed immediately," BJP's state unit president Shamsher Singh Manhas said.
He added that his party would intensify the stir. However, the ruling National Conference has decried the "divisive politics of BJP."
"BJP is unnecessarily trying to make an issue of it. Omar had only made a statement of facts. Constitution and history bear a testimony to that," the party's senior leader and spokesperson Ajay Sadhotra said in a statement.
The National Conference also issued advertisements in the local newspapers welcoming Omar to Jammu on the day of the opening of 'durbar'.