Separatist shutdown hits life in Kashmir towns

Separatist shutdown hits life in Kashmir towns

Geelani, who heads the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, has called for the protest to mount pressure on the state government to release arrested youth and political prisoners.

"Nobody has been released despite the chief minister's statement that all arrested stone pelters would be released before Eid-ul-Fitr. It has turned out to be yet another joke on the people," Geelani told reporters on phone from his Hyderpora residence where authorities  Tuesday placed him under house arrest.

Shops, public transport and other business establishments were closed in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital as well as in towns like Baramulla, Sopore, Ganderbal, Badgam,  Bandipora and Kupwara.

Though police did not impose restrictions anywhere in the city, there was heavy deployment of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in violence prone areas of old Srinagar city to maintain law and order.

“No restrictions of any sort have been imposed anywhere in the city. We are ensuring that miscreants and antisocial elements are prevented from creating a law and order situation," a senior police officer told IANS here.

A three-day pen down strike by the state government employees also started here Wednesday.

The employees are demanding payment of arrears as per the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission, regularisation of daily wagers and ad hoc employees besides enhancement of the retirement age from the existing 58 to 60 years.

An official statement issued here two days back had accused Geelani for making inflammatory speeches.

“One man cannot be allowed to hold peace hostage as has been proved by Syed Ali Geelani himself. He makes speeches those incite the youth to violence and then blames the security forces for their arrest," said a police official.