The Kashmir Valley on Wednesday observed a complete shutdown called by separatist groups to protest against Independence Day celebrations in the state.
The strike was organised under the banner of the Joint Resistance Leadership. The group, comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, asked people to observe a “black day”, PTI reported.
Shops, offices, business establishments and petrol pumps in Srinagar were closed. Public and private vehicles stayed off the roads across the Valley, Kashmir Reader reported quoting local residents.
A police official told PTI that security forces were deployed across the Valley, especially in sensitive areas, to maintain law and order.
Thousands of Central Reserve Police Force and policemen were deployed across Srinagar. A three-tier security was put in place at Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium, the main venue of Independence Day, according to officials. Barricades were erected on all roads leading to the venue, Rising Kashmir reported.
Mobile internet services were suspended around 1 am on Wednesday as a precautionary measure but resumed in the afternoon. An official said the step was taken to prevent spread of rumours and triggering of improvised explosive devices by militants, Greater Kashmir reported.
In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said problems in Jammu and Kashmir can be solved by embracing its people, Hindustan Times reported. “Whether it is of Ladakh or Jammu or Kashmir Valley, there should be balanced and equal development,” Modi said. “All expectations of the people there should be fulfilled, infrastructure should be strengthened and we should walk with everyone. We do not want to move in the path of guns and abuse.”