Srinagar, May 19: Ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the capital Srinagar, authorities Saturday imposed curfew-like restrictions in parts of Kashmir while the Joint Hurriyat leadership, who had called for ‘Lal Chowk march’, were detained to foil their attempts for a sit-in at Lal Chowk.
Modi, who arrived in Kashmir in the afternoon after his visit to Ladakh, was received by Governor N N Vohra and J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti
As expected, the authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar while mobile internet was suspended in order to “prevent law and order problems”.
Joint Hurriyat leadership of Syed Ali Geelani, JKLF chief Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who had appealed people to walk to Lal Chowk in Srinagar, terming the march as “test of Indian democracy”, were either put behind bars or subjected to house arrest.
“As the authoritarian rulers once again belie any claim to democracy by imposing #HouseArrests #Curfew #Restrictions #Barricades #Blockades closure of educational institutions on the visit of Indian PM to valley, I will peacefully march towards #LalChowk at 11 am,” Mirwaiz tweeted ahead of his house arrest.
A JKLF spokesperson said several leaders and activists of the outfit were detained by the police in Srinagar after they attempted to take out a protest rally towards Lal Chowk. “JKLF leaders and activists gathered near Budshah Chowk and tried to march towards Lal Chowk, but policemen already deployed there prevented them from marching ahead,” the spokesperson said.
Most of the shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments in Srinagar and other districts remained shut, a police official said.
Authorities, on Friday, had already decided to shut educational institutes in Srinagar. Kashmir University has postponed all examinations scheduled for Saturday.
No public transport was visible on the roads. Similar reports of spontaneous shutdown were received from other districts of the region even as there was no shutdown call by the Joint Hurriyat, who had only asked called for Lal Chowk march, which was foiled by the authorities.