Srinagar: A shutdown called by separatists affected life in Srinagar today, although the authorities did not impose any restrictions in the city.
While shops, educational institutions, business establishments and public transport remained suspended in the city, government offices, banks and post offices functioned normally. Few private vehicles were seen plying in several areas of the city.
Scores of public transport vehicles ferrying tourists to Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other places of tourist attraction, however, plied normally in the Kashmir Valley.
Today’s shutdown has been called to commemorate the death anniversaries of two senior separatist leaders – Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.
While Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq was killed this day in 1990 inside his uptown Nigeen residence by unidentified gunmen, Lone was killed during a separatist rally on May 21, 2002, at the Eidgah grounds of old Srinagar city.
The moderate Hurriyat group headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, son of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq, has called for a march to the martyrs’ graveyard in the city.
Authorities had Monday placed Mirwaiz Umer Farooq under house arrest. Monday evening, the Srinagar district magistrate and senior superintendent of police called on him to persuade him not to hold the rally as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code have been imposed in the city.
Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in full riot gear in various areas of Srinagar.
Reports from other major towns of the Valley indicated that normal life had been affected there as well owing to the separatist-sponsored shutdown.