Separatist shutdown cripples life in Srinagar

Normal life was paralysed in Srinagar in response to a shutdown call by separatists.

Updated: Jul 15, 2010, 12:57 PM IST

Srinagar: Authorities lifted preventive restrictions from the entire Kashmir Valley Thursday, but normal life was paralysed in Srinagar in response to a shutdown call by separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani.

"Restrictions have been lifted from the entire valley and there is no curfew or preventive restriction anywhere today (Thursday)," a senior police officer said here.

However, shops, educational institutions, banks, public transport and other business establishments remained shut in Srinagar because of the two-day shutdown beginning Wednesday called by Geelani, the leader of the hardline faction of the separatist Hurriyat group against alleged human rights violations.

With stone pelting youth challenging taxis, autorickshaws and even private vehicles in some parts of the city here, there was little traffic movement in the city. However, on Wednesday, some autorickshaws and taxis could be seen.

In uptown Batmaloo area, residents came out on the road in response to the separatist programme.
To avoid any confrontation between the protesters and the security forces, authorities have withdrawn most of the deployments from the sensitive areas of the city Thursday.

"We are keeping a close eye on the situation," Farooq Ahmad, inspector general of police (Kashmir Zone) said here.
People in some other towns in the valley also came out of their homes to stage sit-ins and protests.

At least 15 people have been killed, including a 25-year-old women, in the clashes between protesters and security forces since June 11.