Srinagar: A shutdown is being observed across the Kashmir Valley on Saturday on a call given by joint resistance leadership against attempts of ‘demographic’ change via challenge in Supreme Court to Article 35A of the Indian constitution and against the ‘atrocities’ on people, especially those residing in south Kashmir.
Authorities have also placed restrictions in parts of Old Srinagar. Besides, reports said, heavy deployments of police and paramilitary forces have been made on streets in many other parts of Valley to prevent protests and maintain “law and order”.
Most of the shops, public transport, other businesses and educational institutions are closed. Some private transport and three wheelers were however seen moving on the city roads in the morning.
The State Board of School Education (BOSE) has already postponed the Term 1 and 2 examinations of class 11th scheduled for Saturday.
The leadership comprising chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference—Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq—and JKLF chief Yasin Malik had called for the shutdown on the weekend eelier this week.
“The ongoing killing spree, genocide of young Kashmiris, hooliganism of government forces in entire Kashmir (especially South) and the National Investigation Agency or Enforcement Directorate raids to divert attention of people in India and international community from these atrocities and ploys to change hundreds of years old state subject law in Jammu and Kashmir will face a stern resistance from Kashmiris,” the leadership had said in a statement.
For the last many months, they said, Kashmir has been turned into a “killing field and massacre of young unarmed Kashmiris has become the order of the day.”
“Our young ones are killed with impunity and the trigger-happy forces, disrespecting every bit of humanity, are seen mutilating their bodies, disrespecting even the deceased and taking selfies with the bodies. On the one hand, this genocide is going on and on the other, Indian forces have unleashed a new era of beatings, vandalising properties, making arrests and torturing common people without any consideration to age and gender. Nocturnal raids, putting men, women, young and old in jails under black laws and beating men and women have become a routine in whole Kashmir including Islamabad (Anantnag), Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Bijbihara, Pampore and other areas,” the leaders had said.
Terming as unacceptable and condemnable the “ploy of Indian rulers and their Kashmiri stooges” to “wipe out” state subject law, the leaders said: “This law has been implemented by erstwhile Maharaja in Jammu and Kashmir. This kind of law is implemented in places that comprise forests, glaciers and water bodies and Jammu and Kashmir being such a land needed a protection regarding ecological balance which was provided by this law.”