SRINAGAR: Life came to a halt on Monday in Kashmir valley due to a strike called by separatists against the death of seven civilians in a blast near an encounter site on Sunday in Kulgam district.
A police official said there were no restrictions in any part of the valley though security forces remained deployed in strength, particularly in downtown and Shehar-e-Khas in the summer capital, to maintain law and order.
Work in government offices and banks was affected while all educational institutes were closed in view of the strike in Kashmir valley.
Train service was suspended as a precaution.
Shops and business establishments downed shutters and traffic was off the roads in Civil Lines and uptown Srinagar though several private vehicles, particularly two-wheelers, could be seen plying in the city.
There was a complete shutdown in downtown and SeK, where security forces had closed some roads with barbed wire though people are allowed to move freely as of now.
Security forces have closed all roads leading to Maisuma, stronghold of separatist chief Mohammad Yasin Malik, though pedestrians were allowed to move freely.
Business and other activities remained crippled in main business hubs of the city, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, and Budshah Chowk, Regal Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Batmaloo, Moulana Azad Road, Residency Road and Dalgate.
Security forces, donning bulletproof jackets and wielding weapons and lathis, patrolled the streets of the city.
All gates of the historic Jamia Masjid, stronghold of chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, were closed since early this morning to prevent any protests.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, Mohammad Yaseen Malik and other separatist leaders, had called for a shutdown on Monday against the death yesterday of the seven civilians in the blast.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a Kashmiri Pandit organisation â Kashmiri Pandit Sangarash Samiti-- and some other outfits had extended support to the strike call.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel were deployed in major towns and tehsil headquarters to stop protests, said a report from south Kashmir, where business and other activities were crippled and traffic was off the roads in support of the strike.
Kulgam, where seven civilians were killed in the blast near an encounter site yesterday, in which three Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were neutralised.
The encounter with security forces took place at Laroo in Kulgam.
Security was stepped up along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway to prevent any protests.
Life also came to a grinding halt in central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal in response to the call.
Life was crippled in Baramulla and other north Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters, where shops were closed and traffic was off the road in support of the strike.
Security forces were deployed in entire north Kashmir, including Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara, to prevent any breach of law and order.
Vigil was stepped up along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.