Srinagar: Normal life in Kashmir valley was hit Tuesday in response to the strike called by the Hurriyat Conference to protest alleged curbs on its chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani by police in New Delhi.
Reports quoting eyewitnesses told a almost all the commercial establishments including shops remained closed across the valley. However, strike had partial affect on traffic both public as well as private.
In Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, there were hardly any deployment of extra forces by the state administration, a complete reversal to last summer when streets were dotted by thousands of uniformed men carrying artillery and riot gear on strike day. The work in courts was also affected as lawyersâ€™ abstained courts.
The Hurriyat Conference (G) had called for a complete shutdown to protest the New Delhi Policeâ€™s directive to the veteran pro-freedom leader, asking him not to leave the Indian capital till further orders.
Immediately after the development, the police order was seen in light of the sedition case filed against the octogenarian leader and booker prize winner Arundhati Roy in October last year but Chief Minister Omar Abdullah here spelled out that the directive was in connection with investigation of alleged Hawala money case involving aide of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Omar had also clarified that there was no arrest warrant issued against Geelani. The 81-year-old was supposed to return home today after undergoing treatment there for days from 27 January last.
Reports from Baramulla said a complete shutdown was observed across the north Kashmir district with business establishments remaining closed while thin movement of traffic was visible on the road.
Similar reports were received from other districts headquarters and towns including Bandipora, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Budgam and southern Kashmirâ€™s Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama.
Meanwhile, several persons were injured in violent clashes between deployments of army and youth at SRTC and Cement Bridge in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.
Reports quoting eyewitness said that scores of youth took to the streets and started protest demonstrations. The authorities deployed army to chase away the protesting youth, they said. However, the youth offered stiff resistance, leading to pitched battles. When reports last came in, the protests were going on and several persons were injured in forces action. Four persons were reported detained and handed over to police by the army, they added.
Reports of minor stone-pelting clashes were also received from Habba Kadal and Rainawari in old city here.