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Separatists’ shutdown affects life in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jul 07: Even though it evoked only a partial response, the life across the Kashmir Valley was affected on Saturday by a shutdown called by the separatists against shifting of Asiya Andrabi, chief of a separatist women group, and two of her colleagues to Delhi.

Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik called the shutdown and asked people to observe civil curfew after the Dukhtaran-e-Milat (DeM) chief Asiya Andrabi was shifted to Delhi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday.

Andrabi and two of her associates, Fahmeeda Sofi and Nahida Nasreen were shifted from the Srinagar Central Jail in connection with an FIR filed against them by the central agency.

The Patiala House Court in Delhi remanded the three to NIA’s custody for 10 days till July 16.

While Geelani and Mirwaiz have been placed under house arrest, Malik has been taken into preventive custody and lodged in a police station.

While shops, and other business establishments remained closed in uptown Lal Chowk and adjoining areas including the ones were restrictions remained in force, elsewhere the impact of shutdown as only partial with some shops remaining open. Roadside vendors also went about their business as usual. Though majority public transport remained off the roads, but cabs, auto-rickshaws and even buses plied on certain routes.

Similar reports were received from other district headquarters of the Valley.

Rail services were suspended as a precautionary measure, but Kashmir University officials said all exams scheduled on Saturday would be held as per schedule.

Authorities on Saturday announced curfew in Tral town of Pulwama district on the eve of second death anniversary of Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed along with two other militants in Kokernag area of Anantnag district on July 08, 2016.

Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength across the town to prevent rallies marking the second death anniversary of Wani. All entry points to the town have been sealed by the forces to enforce the curfew.

Curfew was announced in the town early morning by the authorities over the public address systems. Residents who had come out of their homes to fetch milk and bread were asked to go back.

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