Life in the Jammu and Kashmir capital and in other towns of the valley was severely affected on Wednesday by a shutdown called by separatists, to protest the custodial death of a youth.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, who heads the breakaway Hurriyat group, and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, called for a valley wide shutdown to attract international attention towards the death of Zamin Rashid alias Anjum, 26, in police custody, on July 31 in Sopore town of north Kashmir.
Shops, educational institutions and public transport remained suspended in Srinagar, Sopore, Anantnag, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Badgam, Shopian, Kupwara and Kulgam towns.
Attendance in government offices, banks and post offices ran thin as public transport was not available. Private transport plied on some roads, but its frequency was very low.
Youths burnt old tyres in old city areas in Srinagar, including Nowhatta, to halt traffic.
A stray incident of stone pelting took place early on Wednesday in the sensitive Maisuma locality in Srinagar, adjacent to city centre Lal Chowk. But it was quickly controlled, police said.
Muhammad Ahsan Mir, sub divisional magistrate of Sopore, who is carrying out a magisterial probe into the death, asked the police to provide details of all its personnel posted on duty when Rashid's death occurred, sources told IANS.
North Kashmir deputy inspector general of police Muneer Ahmad Khan will on Wednesday constitute a special investigating team, on government orders, to probe the incident, a police officer said.
The state government on Tuesday transferred Altaf Khan, Sopore superintendent of police, to ensure an impartial inquiry into Rashid's death.