Shutdown, restrictions paralyze life in Kashmir

SRINAGAR – Heightened security, curfew-like restrictions and a shutdown call by separatists brought life to a standstill in the Kashmir Valley as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday addressed his maiden election rally in State’s summer capital Srinagar.

Most separatist groups had asked people to observe shutdown to bring attention of the visiting Prime Minister to the “unresolved Kashmir issue”. All the shops, offices, commercial hubs, district markets and petrol pumps remained closed in response to the strike call. To keep protesters and militants at bay, the authorities sealed a large part of Srinagar city. Without announcing curfew formally, residents alleged they were not allowed to move on the roads.

Restrictions were imposed in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Rainawari, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj, Khanyar and Safakadal. Security forces had sealed main roads with armed vehicles and erected concertina wires in all areas known for protests and house separatist supporters.

Common people faced a lot of inconvenience due to heightened security measures. No vehicle was allowed to ply onwards from Raj Bagh and Jahangir Chowk while concertina wires erected at various places in and around Cricket Stadium restricted the movement of the people. A woman carrying her ailing child in her lap told CNS that the security men did not allow the auto driver to proceed towards G.B.Panth Hospital as a result she was forced to walk by foot.

Mobile internet services in the Kashmir were snapped owing to Modi’s scheduled poll rally. All the mobile internet connections stopped amid unprecedented security and an undeclared curfew in many parts of the city.

Prime Minister Modi arrived in Srinagar amid shutdown and addressed an election rally in Srinagar.