Shrine burndown has Srinagar tense – Normal life hit

Srinagar: Undeclared curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the old city areas of Srinagar Tuesday following tension in the city over the gutting of the revered shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in the Khanyar area.

Although no official announcement to this effect was made, police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed in riot control gear disallowed pedestrian and vehicular movement in old city areas falling under the Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, S.R. Gunj and Safakadal police stations.

The imposed restrictions were not enforced very strictly in uptown areas of the city although a heavy presence of security forces has been maintained to prevent any untoward incident.

Monday’s restrictions followed widespread tension in the city after the highly revered shrine was gutted in a blaze.

Stone-pelting protesters clashed with the police in Khanyar, resulting in injuries to 20 persons Monday. Clashes between the protesters and the police had continued for the entire day in the area.

A complete mourning shutdown was observed in Srinagar city as shops, other business establishments, educational institutions and public transport remained shut Tuesday.

Attendance in banks, post offices and government offices was thin because of the restrictions and non-availability of public transport in the city.

Both, the hardline and moderate Hurriyat groups have called for a Kashmir-wide shutdown Tuesday.

Reports from other district headquarters indicated the shutdown adversely affected life there as well.

The annual Amarnath Yatra which started here Monday, however, continued smoothly despite the shutdown.

Scores of vehicles carrying the pilgrims to the base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal continued moving normally.

IANS

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