A curfew-like situation prevailed in Kashmir Valley on Wednesday as authorities deployed thousands of security personnel to maintain law and order following a 50-hour strike called by separatists to protest against holding of polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Heavy deployment has been made in Srinagar and other major towns of the valley as the strike called by Chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani commenced on a violent note last evening with groups of youth, shouting anti-election slogans, clashed with police at several places in Srinagar leaving 12 persons injured.
Several top separatist leaders including Geelani and moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest.
While Geelani is under house arrest since April 12, Mirwaiz and other leaders of moderate faction were put under house arrest on Tuesday evening. Nearly two dozen prominent separatist leaders have been put behind bars.
Police and paramilitary personnel were seen driving back people to their homes and patrolling the deserted streets to foil any attempt by separatists to take out processions.
Almost all shops and business establishments, government offices, educational institutions, banks, courts and semi-government establishments are closed and public transport off the roads in the valley due to the strict restrictions imposed by the security forces in view of the general strike.