Normal life was crippled across Kashmir valley on Wednesday in response to a strike called by separatists to protest the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Singh along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and several cabinet colleagues including Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah arrived here on a two day visit this morning.
Shops and business establishments, educational institutions, banks and courts remained closed and traffic was off the roads in Srinagar and other major towns of the valley in response to the strike call given by hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and supported by various other separatist organisations.
Yesterday, Kashmir valley observed a general strike called by separatists against the 62nd anniversary of the landing of Indian troops in the state.
Geelani asked the people to observe a complete strike against the visit of the Prime minister.
Supporting the strike call, President of Democratic Freedom Party and senior executive member of Moderate Hurriyat Shabir Ahmad Shah said, "People should observe complete shutdown against Indian Prime Minister's visit to Valley and confine themselves to their homes".
In view of the strike and the visit of the Prime Minister, police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order and scuttle any attempt by separatists to stage demonstrations.