Kashmir's opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) activists led by president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday undertook a peaceful march to Lal Chowk to protest the decision to withdraw prepaid mobile phone facilities in the state.
"The decision casts a shadow of doubt on the entire ten million population of the state," Mehbooba Mufti told reporters.
The union home ministry has advised the service providers to withdraw prepaid mobile phone facilities from Jammu and Kashmir, following reports it was being misused by separatist guerrillas and had serious security implications.
Nearly four million subscribers have been affected by the decision and it has also resulted in over 20,000 locals losing their livelihood in Kashmir Valley.
Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah of the state's ruling National Conference has also criticised the decision, saying that it was tantamount to treating every citizen of the state as a "militant".
However Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who visited the state's winter capital Jammu Wednesday, told reporters that the decision had been taken after careful examination of its security implications.
"The people will have to trust my judgement in this regard. We are trying to find out a method to reconcile the needs of the subscribers and the security requirements in this regard," he said, defending the decision.