Business establishments were closed and public transport stayed off the roads in this Jammu and Kashmir capital Friday as a strike to protest knighthood being conferred on India born author Salman Rushdie came into effect.
The strike, called by armed militant groups and separatist leaders, was only partially successful though with private transport vehicles and autorickshaws plying normally.
Attendance in government offices, educational institutions and banks was thin because of the non-availability of public transport.
Rushdie's ancestors belonged to Kashmir and he has always made several references to the valley in his works. The plot of his "Shalimar, The Clown" is entirely set on Kashmir -- its heritage, arts, lifestyle and political turbulence.
The author is back in the danger spotlight with the British government's move to knight him. Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini had called for his death in a fatwa following controversial allusions regarding the Prophet in his book, "The Satanic Verses".
The execution of the fatwa was later put in cold storage by the Iranian leaders after Khomeini's death.