SRINAGAR: Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads on Monday in Kashmir Valley due to a day-long strike called by the two factions of the Hurriyat Conference today against the detention of seven separatist leaders by National Investigation Agency in connection with terror funding through hawala channels from Pakistan.
All seven leaders, arrested for terror funding, were produced before a Patiala House court in New Delhi which granted the NIA their 10-day custody.
Restrictions were in force since early this morning in the areas falling under the jurisdictions of police stations Nowhatta, M R Gunj, Rainawari, Khanyar and Safakadal in the Valley and downtown Srinagar as a precaution to avoid any violence.
Both the factions of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front had called for the shutdown to protest against the detention by NIA of seven separatist leaders, including hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah.
Work in all educational institutions was also hit in the wake of the protest and train services had also been suspended as a precautionary measure.
Shops and business establishments were closed in the restriction free areas though a good number of vehicles, particularly three-wheelers and cabs, were plying on the road in civil lines and uptown Srinagar. Work in government offices and banks was also affected.
Business and other activities were crippled in main business hubs of the city, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, Budshah Chowk, Regal Chowk, Maisuma, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Batmaloo, Moulana Azad Road, Residency Road and Dalgate.
Additional security forces were seen patrolling the streets in restriction-free areas to prevent any breach of the peace.