Strike cripples normal life in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jul 11: Normal life was on Wednesday crippled as shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in Kashmir valley due to a strike called by separatists against killing of a civilian in security force action in Shopian on Tuesday.
A police official said that there was no restriction in any part of the city, including Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and downtown Srinagar.
Work in government offices and banks were affected while all educational institutes were closed in view of the strike in Kashmir valley, where train service has been suspended for security reasons.
Shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the road in Civil Lines and uptown Srinagar though few private vehicles, particularly two-wheelers, could be seen plying on some routes.
Business and other activities remained crippled in main business hubs of the city, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve-centre of summer capital, Budshah Chowk, Regal Chowk, Maisuma, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Batmaloo, Moulana Azad Road, Residency Road and Dalgate.
Even though there were no restrictions in SeK and downtown, life came to a grinding halt in these areas as the traffic was off the roads and shopkeepers downed shutters in support of the strike call by separatists. The historic Jamia masjid also remained open for devotees. Earlier, authorities used to impose curfew-like restrictions in SeK and downtown and close Jamia masjid every time separatists called for a strike.
Additional security forces, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding weapons and lathis in their hands, were seen patrolling the streets in the city to prevent any untoward incident.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for strike on Wednesday against the killing of a youth in security force firing in Shopian, where two militants were gunned down in an encounter on Tuesday.
Shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads for the fourth day on Wednesday in Kulgam against the killings of three youth, including a girl, in security force firing on Saturday during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO). Normal life also remained affected in Shopian for the second day on Wednesday against the civilian and militant killings.
Reports of a complete shutdown were also coming from south Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Pulwama.
Life also came to a grinding halt in central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal in support of the strike called by separatists.
A report from Baramulla said life was crippled in this and other north Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters, where shops were closed and traffic was off the road in support of the strike. Additional security forces have been deployed in entire north Kashmir to prevent any law and order problem.