Shutdown call by separatists cripples life in Kashmir

Shutdown call by separatists cripples life in Kashmir

Normal life was paralysed in the Valley on Tuesday due to the strike called by separatists over the issue of attacks on Kashmiri students outside the state in the backdrop of unrest at NIT Srinagar.

Reports said all the shops and other commercial establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads. However, skeletal movement of private vehicles was reported from various areas.

Hundreds of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) wearing riot gears were deployed in various parts of Srinagar city and they had laid spools of concertina wires at the exit and entrance points of the town to prevent people from staging protests.

Big support

The shutdown had been called by separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and supported by Hizb-ul-Muajhideen militant outfit in protest against alleged beating, harassment and intimidation of Kashmiri students in educational and professional institutions outside the Valley.

Elsewhere in the valley normal life also remained affected due to the strike.

 Reports said that shops remained closed and government offices witnessed thin attendance in most district headquarters in the Valley.To thwart any protests, authorities had placed Geelani and Mirwaiz under house arrest in Srinagar while Malik was taken into preventive custody and lodged in a police station.The crisis situation emerged after the recent controversy at National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar.

Heated arguments

The trouble had started last week when heated arguments took place between non-local and Kashmiri students in the dining hall of the institute after the defeat of Indian team in World T-20 semi-final. Kashmiri students celebrated India’s defeat to avenge alleged taunts and harassment by non-local students when India was on winning spree.

The Kashmiri students alleged that they were abused and beaten up for celebrating India’s defeat on the hostel premises.

There are around 150 Kashmiri students in the institute while non-Kashmiris from different states are around 1,800. The issue escalated when the protesting non-local students boycotted classes and were baton charged by police.

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