Srinagar, Feb 13: Life was on Wednesday crippled on the first day of the two-day general strike called by separatists on the issue of Article 35 A which is scheduled to come up for hearing in Supreme Court this week.
Earlier, it was reported that the Apex court will hear the case today and tomorrow.
The Supreme Court is hearing a petition challenging Article 35 A of the Constitution. However, the case did not figure in the list of SC, scheduled to be taken up today. The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for the strike against any move to weaken the Article.
The work in Kashmir University (KU) was totally paralysed as employees, including senior officers, stayed away in response to strike call, evoking protests by students who had come from different parts of the valley, including far off places.
There is no restriction in any part of the valley, including Srinagar today, police said.
However, all gates of historic Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, remained closed. Large number of security forces and state police personnel have been deployed in the Jamia market and people are being prevented to enter the worship place. Jamia market and shops and other business establishments in the downtown remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Security forces have closed one tube of the Nallahmar road from Khanyar to Nawa Kadal at several places. However, people were being allowed to move in the localities on both sides of the road.
Business and other activities remained crippled in the summer capital, Srinagar, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city, Budshah Chowk, Mahraj Bazar, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Dalgate, Moulana Azad road, Residency road, Batmaloo and Maisuma. Traffic was of the roads. However, private vehicles, particularly two-wheelers besides three-wheelers could be seen plying on some routes.
The situation in the uptown and outskirts was no different as shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport off the roads. Private vehicles were plying. Cabs were also seen ferrying passengers to Srinagar International Airport.
Large number of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in strength to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, large number of students, who had come from different parts of the valley, including Kupwara, Baramulla, Sopore, Anantnag and other parts of south and Central Kashmir, protested against the KU authorities.
''We had come from different parts of the valley only to know that university staff is missing because of strike,'' the students alleged. Besides spending transport charges, our time was wasted,'' the students said, adding this is almost a daily routine in the university where accountability of officials is missing. A number of KU teachers also supported the students.
Work in government offices was affected. However, banks were functioning though with less staff.
Reports of complete shutdown was also received from this and other major towns and tehsil headquarters, a report from Baramulla said. Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads.
Additional security and state police personnel have been deployed on bridges over river Jhelum, connecting downtown with civil lines. Security forces also remained deployed in strength at different places on the Srinagar-Uri National Highway.
Business and other activities remained affected in Anantnag and other major towns and tehsil headquarters in south Kashmir, a report from Anantnag said. Transport was off the roads though some private vehicles were plying in Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam. Additional security forces have been deployed on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, which was through for one-way traffic only.
Similar reports were also received from central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal. (UNI)