In the backdrop of US president Barack Obama's India visit, a shutdown sponsored by the Kashmiri separatist group Hurriyat Conference disrupted normal life in Kashmir valley on Saturday. Two people died in an accident when protesters enforcing shutdown pelted stones at vehicles in south Kashmir's Shopian area.
Both factions of Hurriyat Conference, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, have sought the US "intervention and role" in resolving the Kashmir problem.
The Mirwaiz-faction, in fact, concluded its signature campaign on Saturday. The campaign seeks US role in resolving the problem.
"The US is a champion of democracy and peoples' rights. We expect him (Obama) to use his good offices in India and Pakistan, being close friends with both the countries, to help Kashmiris have the right to self-determination," said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Hardline separatist leader Geelani, to attract the US president's attention, asked people to observe "civil curfew" till he is in India.
The separatists' shutdown call disrupted normal life in Kashmir valley. Most shops, schools, colleges and business establishment remained closed. There were reports of stone-throwing incidents in downtown Srinagar. There was thin presence of private vehicles on the roads.
The authorities, however, refrained from imposing curfew in any part of the valley, though there were light security restrictions and deployment in sensitive areas in Srinagar, north and south Kashmir.
Two persons died and three others injured at Nagbal- Zainapora in south Kashmir's Shopian in the afternoon.
"Miscreants were enforcing shutdown and resorted to stone throwing on civil vehicles. The victims were travelling in a load carrier. They were on the way to Shopian when it was heavily pelted with stones. The driver lost control and the vehicle turned turtle, which resulted in the death of Mohammad Ramzan Malik and Javaid Ahmad Bhat," said a police spokesman.
The police have taken cognisance of the matter. "Further investigations are on," said the spokesman.