SRINAGAR, Feb 9: Normal life was today affected in Kashmir valley due to a shutdown called by separatists and restrictions clamped by authorities on the fourth hanging anniversary of 2001 Parliament attack convict, Mohammad Afzal Guru.
Shops, commercial establishments and fuel stations were closed in city here in the wake of shutdown while public transport was also hit. The private vehicles in Civil Line areas of the city were plying normally despite shutdown call. Since early morning, security forces were deployed in strength in all the areas falling under five police stations of Old City who enforced partial restrictions on civilian movement.
The security forces were also deployed in several sensitive areas of the civil line. However, despite stringent security, clashes between stone-throwers and security men erupted at multiple places in city areas including Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara, Nawa Kadal, Nawab Bazar, Soura, Fateh Kadal and Muchwa. Police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the stone-throwers. No one was reported injured during these clashes which erupted in the afternoon here.
Authorities had made heightened security measures in Sopore – the native area of Guru – to prevent any kind of violence. Security forces were deployed at sensitive places in the area. Although situation remained largely peaceful but violent clashes erupted in Jama Masjid area of Sopore between stone-throwers and security forces during which police fired pepper and teargas canisters towards protesters. The clashes continued for several hours amid shutdown.
In other districts of the Valley, the shutdown was observed on the call of separatists, bringing routine activities of people to complete halt. Police said that stone-throwing clashes erupted between youth and security forces at Palhallan hamlet of Baramulla district and Papchan area of Bandipora district in North Kashmir. “The overall situation remained under control across the Valley,” he added.