Separatists shutdown affects life in Kashmir

A shutdown called by separatists affected life in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir Valley Tuesday while authorities made additional deployment of police and paramilitary forces to ensure law and order.

Hardline separatist groups, headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani have called for a Valley-wide shutdown to "focus attention on the conditions of prisoners languishing in various jails".

Although markets usually open late these days because of the morning chill in Srinagar and other major towns, shops in the uptown Residency Road area and the old city remained closed in response to the separatists call.

Public transport, however, plied on the city's outskirts while private vehicles could be seen on the city roads. Banks, post offices and government offices worked normally although attendance at some places was low because of the curtailed availability of public transport within the city.

Work in the local courts was adversely affected as the bar association called on its members not to attend the courts to "express solidarity with those languishing in the jails despite their release orders by the courts".

Reports received here from other district headquarters of Badgam, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara and Anantnag indicated that the shutdown evoked partial response at these places.

All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities, are presently closed because of the winter vacations here. Police and paramilitary central reserve police force were deployed in strength to ensure law and order in the city.

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