Separatist shutdown affects Valley, vice president arrives in Srinagar


Srinagar : A shutdown called by separatists in the Kashmir Valley affected life in the summer capital and other major cities Saturday, even as Vice President Hamid Ansari arrived to preside over the convocation of Kashmir University.

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Authorities imposed strict restrictions Friday to foil a march by separatists to Baramulla town. The march has been called by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani against the murder and rape of two women in south Kashmir’s Shopian town last month.

Contingents of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order in the state capital. Security has been tightened in view of the vice president’s visit.

Roads leading to the university have been sealed off and no vehicles except those of the officials and those holding invitations to the function are being allowed.

Public transport, markets, educational institutions and banks are closed in the city and attendance in the government offices also remained thin because of non-availability of transport.

Reports reaching here from other major cities and towns of the Valley indicated the shutdown had adversely affected normal life there as well.

Meanwhile, authorities here denied Geelani had been shifted to the Srinagar central jail after his arrest a fortnight back.

“He has been lodged in Cheshmashahi area of the city and has not been shifted to the central jail,” a senior police official said.