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Normal life affected in Kashmir due to strike call by separatists during PM Modi’s visit

Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments in Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir - remained shut, a police official said.

india Updated: May 19, 2018 16:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Narendra Modi,Jammu and Kashmir,Kashmiri separatists
Parmilitary troopers stand guard in Srinagar on May 18, 2018. Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir were put on high alert ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the state on Saturday. (AFP)

Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Kashmir on Saturday and suspended mobile internet services in view of the shutdown called by separatists demanding resolution of Kashmir issue during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state.

Streets were deserted, markets shut, schools and colleges closed as heavy security was deployed in many parts of the Valley.

Police said while public transport was off the roads, private vehicles were seen plying in many areas of the city.

The separatist trio of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for a peaceful protest march to city centre Lal Chowk to demand resolution of the Kashmir issue.

But authorities imposed restrictions in and around Lal Chowk, the commercial hub of Srinagar, and seven police station areas of the city.

A police official said strict restrictions have been imposed in police station areas of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal and Maharajgunj, while partial curbs were in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas of the city here.

The roads leading to the venue of PM’s function at Sheri Kashmir International convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of Dal Lake were sealed.

“The situation so far has been stable. There were a few minor incidents of stone pelting, which, by Kashmir standards, are normal,” said a police official in Srinagar.

The government also closed schools and colleges while Kashmir University postponed its examinations for the day.

Mirwaiz, who was under house arrest, was detained by the police outside his Nigeen residence in Srinagar. While Geelani was under house detention, Malik was in police custody.

A group of supporters of Malik’s Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) were detained by police as they gathered near Budshah Chowk Maisuma from where they tried to march towards Lal Chowk, a spokesman of the party said.

“As the authoritarian rulers once again belie any claim to democracy by imposing #House Arrests #Curfew #Restrictions #Barricades #Blockades closure of educational institutions on the visit of Indian PM to valley,” Mirwaiz tweeted before his detention.

He had invoked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio address on Friday and asked him to listen to “our Mann Ki Baat” which was to ‘Resolve Kashmir Dispute’.

The Prime Minister kick-started work on Zojila Tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway at an event in Jive-tsal in Leh, in Ladakh region.

Modi will also lay foundation stone for Srinagar Ring Road and Jammu Ring Road at separate events at SKICC and at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium in Jammu.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: May 19, 2018 13:56 IST