Kashmir shuts down to protest Hurriyat arrests 

The authorities imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar to prevent separatist-called protests against the arrests, effected on Monday.

Published: 25th July 2017 08:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2017 08:09 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

SRINAGAR: Normal life in the Kashmir Valley was paralyzed on Tuesday as shops and other businesses remained closed due to restrictions imposed by the government and shutdown called by separatists to protest the arrest of seven Hurriyat leaders for allegedly funding terrorism in the state.

The authorities imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar to prevent separatist-called protests against the arrests, effected on Monday.

Chairmen of the two factions of the separatist Hurriyat Conference -- Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who had called for the shutdown, were detained in their houses in Srinagar.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik was lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail. 

The District Magistrate ordered restrictions in the old city areas to prevent people from holding protest marches.

Public transport, shops, other businesses and educational institutions remained closed almost across the valley.

Contingents of police and the Central Reserve Police Force in riot gear disallowed vehicular and pedestrian movement in all the areas where restrictions were imposed.

Private transport and some three-wheelers were, however, seen moving in uptown areas and the city outskirts.

Train services in the valley were also suspended for security reasons, a railway official said. 

The protest shutdown was called after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested seven separatist leaders in the terror funding case.

The arrested include Altaf Ahmad Shah, son-in-law of Geelani, and Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of the Geelani-led Hurriyat group.

The other arrested separatists include Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Shahid-ul-Islam, political aide of the Mirwaiz, Peer Saifullah and Mehrajuddin Kalwal. 

A Delhi court remanded the arrested separatists in NIA custody for 10 days.

Meanwhile, trade across the Line of Control (LoC) between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was suspended on Tuesday after authorities in Pakistan-administered Kashmir said no commerce will take place this week.

Authorities at the Trade Facilitation Centre near the border town of Uri in Baramulla said they had received a letter from Pakistan which gave no reasons for suspending the trade that takes place from Tuesday to Friday every week.

Police on the Indian side last week arrested a driver, Muhammad Yusuf Shah from Chakoti near Muzaffarabad, after recovering 66 kg of narcotics from his vehicle.

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