The Valley observed a complete shutdown on Saturday to protest against the arrest of Prof S A R Geelani and JNU students for voicing their support for the Kashmir issue and against the “harassment” of Kashmiri students studying in New Delhi.
The call for the shutdown was given by Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and supported by most separatist leaders in the Valley.
All business establishments and shops in Srinagar city remained closed. While public transport remained off the roads in most areas, some private cars were seen plying. The attendance in government offices remained thin because of non-availability of public transport. As a precautionary measure and to prevent damages, the government had suspended the intra-Kashmir rail service.
The shutdown was also observed in all major towns and villages of the Valley. In north Kashmir, all shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic remained off the roads in Sopore, Baramulla, Kupwara, Handwara, Pattan and Bandipore. Impact of the shutdown was also felt in Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Awantipora, Anantnag, Bijbehara and Pampore towns in south Kashmir and Ganderbal and Budgam in central Kashmir.
J&K Police had put several separatist leaders, including chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Mohammad Yasin Malik, under house arrest to prevent them from leading protests marches.
Hurriyat has thanked people for the success of the shutdown.