Life remains crippled for the 2nd day in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Normal life remained crippled for the second successive day as shop and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in Kashmir valley due to a two-day strike called by separatists till Monday to protest alleged attempts being made to abrogate Article 35-A.
Meanwhile, curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in the areas falling under police station M R Gunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safa Kadal and Rainawari in downtown Srinagar as a precautionary measure.
However, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday adjourned the hearing of the case till August 27.
Shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the road in civil lines and uptown Srinagar, where roadside vendors were missing for the second day on Monday. However, very few private vehicles could be seen plying on some routes in the city.
Work in government offices and banks was also affected on Monday in the valley, where all educational institutes were deserted as students preferred to stay indoors in view of the strike called by separatists. Meanwhile, train service remained suspended for the second day as a security measure.
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.
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.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for two-day strike from Sunday as the case was to come up for hearing in the SC on Monday. A number of writ petitions had been filed challenging Article 35 A, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state. The Article provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of the state.
As many as 27 Kashmir-based trade and industry bodies, including the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), had backed the separatist strike call. The representatives of 27 Kashmir-based trade and industry bodies on July 30 also presented a united front to protest against any attempts made to abrogate Article 35-A and tamper with the special status of the state.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel were deployed in major towns and tehsil headquarters to stop protests, said a report from north Kashmir, where business and other activities remained crippled and traffic was off the roads in support of the strike. Business and other activities remained paralyzed for the fourth day in Kupwara, where a complete shutdown was observed on Thursday and Friday against killing of two militants in encounter with security force.
Life remained crippled for the second day in central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal in support of the strike called by separatists.
A report from Pulwama said life remained crippled for the second day in this and other south 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 south Kashmir, including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, to prevent any law and order problem.
But, strike continued for the third day in Anantnag, where normal life was crippled on Saturday on first death anniversary of a Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militant who was killed on this day last year in an encounter by security forces in Bijbehara.
Security has also been stepped up along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway to prevent any protests. But, movement of all vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims on the national highway remained suspended for the second day on Monday for security reasons.
However, curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in the downtown, Srinagar, as a precautionary measure to prevent any demonstration following strike called by separatists against alleged attempts to abrogate Article 35 A of the constitutions.
However, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday adjourned the hearing of the case till August 27.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for two-day strike from Sunday as the case was to come up for hearing in the SC on Monday. A number of writ petitions had been filed challenging Article 35 A, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state. The Article provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of the state.
Police said restrictions under Section 144 CrPC have been imposed in the areas falling under police station M R Gunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safa Kadal and Rainawari.
However, the situation was entirely different on the ground as security forces and state police have closed all main roads with barbed wire in these areas and directing people to remain indoors.
The main gates of historic Jamia Masjid remained closed and no one was being allowed to enter the worship place since this morning.
The residents on both sides of the Nallahmar road alleged that they were not being allowed to move out of their houses since early this morning by the security force deployed after every ten feet.
The road has been closed from Qamarwari to Khanyar as security forces have closed roads with barbed wire at several places, including Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Khanyar and Bohari Kadal.
The main roads leading to Jamia Masjid, including Rangar Stop, Gojwara and Hawal, have also been closed and people were being directed to remain indoors.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel have been deployed in the Jamia Market to prevent people from entering the worship place. Similar, restrictions have also been imposed in Malkha, Khanyar and Rainawari.