Kashmir shuts down, internet train service suspended, separatists caged on Modi visit

February 3, 2019

SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown on Sunday was observed across Kashmir against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The shutdown was called by Joint Resistance Leadership. Most of the top leaders have been either detained or kept under house arrest.

Shops and business establishments were closed and traffic off the roads. The much important train services were also closed leaving people to suffer.

Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the city while sharp shooters were keeping an eagle eye across the Srinagar city. Reports said that a complete shutdown was also observed in south Kashmir’s Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, and Islamabad districts. There was a shutdown in North Kashmir as well.

It is pertinent to mention here, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprised of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and Muhammad Yasin Malik has called for a complete shutdown across Kashmir against the visit of Modi. On the other hand, the Indian authorities took stringent repressive measures in the name of so-called security across occupied Kashmir as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is paying a visit to the held valley on Sunday.

Heavy contingents of Indian police and troops were deployed in Srinagar, Jammu and other areas of the occupied territory. The troops and police personnel have set up security check-points in different areas and conducting thorough frisking of vehicles and commuters. Hundreds of motor bikes in Srinagar and other areas were also seized by Indian forces on the pretext of security checks.

The Indian Prime Minister’s special security guards (SSG) taken over the main venue in Srinagar where Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the development projects in the Kashmir Valley. Unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones have been pressed into service around the venue to maintain aerial vigil.

Reacting to Modi’s visit, the JRL in a statement said, a person who in his pursuit to crush Kashmiris’ genuine demand for right to self-determination ordered killings, arrests, destruction of properties and other oppressive tactics deserved to be welcomed only with protest.

It said the Indian authorities have put many Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Hilal Ahmed War, Javaid Ahmed Mir and Molvi Bashir Ahmed Irfani under house arrest or in custody to prevent them from leading anti-India demonstrations.

The move evoked strong resentment and anger from the owners of motorcycles. “Despite having proper documents and the driving license, my bike was seized at Pantha Chhowk. Policemen resorted to unruly behaviour when I insisted as to why my motorcycle was seized without any reason,” the KSM quoted  Lateef Ahmed, who was travelling from Pampore to Nowgam.

The authorities are said to have suspended mobile internet and train services in the occupied territory. NNI