SRINAGAR, Aug 6: For the second consecutive day, life in Kashmir valley was disrupted due to a shutdown called by separatists against the challenge in the Supreme Court to the validity of Article 35A.
Shops and business establishments remained closed along with educational institutions across the Valley while all kinds of transport was off the roads due to the strike. Even shikaras in Dal lake came to standstill. Majority of the Government offices were shut as were the banks and petrol stations.
Police and Paramilitary CRPF forces were deployed at vulnerable places in the city including downtown and elsewhere in Kashmir to a bid to prevent protests. The entire Kashmir wore deserted look with people staying indoors and only security force personnel seen patrolling the sensitive areas.
Minor clashes were reported near Footbridge Parimpora, Wanbal Rawalpora, Gangiwar Anantnag and Dialgam Anantnag. One protester was injured at Wanbal Rawalpora in Srinagar. Various trade bodies also staged protest rallies at Lal Chowk here, seeking to safeguard the Constitutional provision.
However, police said the situation across the Valley remained peaceful and the clashes reported in some areas were minor.
Train service to and fro South to North Kashmir also remained suspended along with the Amarnath yatra for the second consecutive day as a precautionary measure in view of the strike.
The two-day strike call was given by the separatist leaders comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.
Various organizations included Bar Association, transporters and traders’ bodies and others have extended support to the shutdown call.
Protests were held across Kashmir over the past few days with mainstream parties like the National Conference and PDP also holding rallies in support of continuing Article 35-A.
The separatists said that the protests against tinkering with the Article 35A will continue despite Apex Court deferring the hearing.
They said that a strict vigil will be maintained on the situation as they will continue to devise and follow a collective strategy in consultation with all segments of society including traders, lawyers, civil society members, transporters and others.