Normal life remains crippled in Kashmir due to strike

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Srinagar, Feb 28: Normal life remained crippled for the second successive day on Thursday due to a two-day strike called by separatists against raids conducted by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and mass arrests in the valley, besides alleged attempts to tamper with Article 35-A.
A police official said there were no restrictions in any part of the Srinagar city though security forces have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order.
However, all gates of historic Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, remained locked since Wednesday morning and nobody was being allowed to enter the worship place.
Meanwhile, one side of some roads in downtown Srinagar remained closed since Wednesday morning with barbed wires though security forces were allowing traffic to ply from the other side of these roads.
Work in government offices and banks also remained affected due to strike in the valley, where educational institutions remained closed in view of government extending winter vacation till March 2.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in Srinagar though good number of private vehicles, besides cabs and three-wheelers, could be seen plying on some routes, particularly in civil lines. Roadsides vendors, selling fruits and vegetables, have setup their stalls, mostly in uptown, where some shops are open in certain areas.
Business and other activities remained crippled for the second day 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.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) — comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik — on Tuesday called for a two-day strike from Wednesday against raids conducted by NIA and mass arrests in the valley, besides alleged attempts to tamper with Article 35-A.
Life also remained affected in central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal in support of the strike called by separatists.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel remained 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.
A report from Anantnag said life remained crippled 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. However, some inter-district cabs were plying though Srinagar-Jammu national highway, where security forces remained deployed in strength to maintain law and order.
Additional security forces have been deployed in entire south Kashmir, including Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian, to prevent any law and order problem.
Business and other activities continued to remain closed for the fifth successive day on Thursday in Kulgam, where three militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were killed by security forces in an encounter at Turigam Yaripora on Sunday.

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