Separatist shutdown hits Kashmir to protest Sonia visit

Srinagar, May 29 (Calcutta Tube) Life across the Kashmir Valley was affected Saturday by a shutdown called by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani on a day Congress president Sonia Gandhi is visiting the state. Authorities have imposed restrictions in the old city areas of Srinagar.

Geelani has called the shutdown against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson’s visit to the state.

Gandhi is to inaugurate a tribal cultural centre in Jammu and address a function organised by the Gujjar community there. She had earlier cancelled the Srinagar leg of her visit.

Shops, other business establishments, educational institutions and public transport remained off the roads and attendance in government offices and banks was low in Srinagar city.

Authorities made heavy deployment of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in sensitive areas falling under five police stations of Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Maharajgunj and Safa Kadal of the old city to ensure law and order.

‘Preventive measures have been taken to protect civilian life and property,’ a police officer said here.

Reports reaching here from other district headquarters of Ganderbal, Bandipora, Kupwara, Badgam, Baramulla, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam also indicated that life had been adversely affected there by the separatist shutdown.

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