A shutdown was called in the Kashmir Valley on Sunday to protest against the attacks on Kashmiris in parts of India, following the terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy on February 14, which killed 40 soldiers.
While traders’ bodies have called for the bandh, transporters’ organisations have supported it, Rising Kashmir reported. All shops and business establishments remained closed in parts of the Valley and in Srinagar. Public transport also stayed off the roads.
The bandh also affected the weekly flea market in Srinagar, as no vendors could be seen on the TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis up to Lal Chowk, PTI reported. In response to the shutdown, government authorities have imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar and reduced internet mobile services.
The traders and transporters’ bodies had organised a similar shutdown from 3 pm on Saturday. They demanded the safety of Kashmiris living outside the Valley, and threatened to cut off business ties with Jammu-based traders.
Kashmiri students living in some parts of the country have alleged that they received threats and faced harassment after the Pulwama attack. In Uttarakhand’s Dehradun, students have claimed that 12 of them were beaten up by activists from right-wing organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Some students in Haryana were also reportedly threatened. A student from Shopian studying at the MM University in Haryana’s Ambala said that a fellow student was thrashed by a mob.
However, the CRPF refuted on Sunday a report that said that 12 Kashmiri girls were trapped in a hostel in Dehradun’s Dolphin College, with a mob shouting outside. The force said it had contacted the college authorities and also the local administration, who said that no incident of the sort took place.
On Saturday, the Centre issued an advisory to states and union territories asking them to ensure the safety of Kashmiris.