Separatist shutdown affects life in Kashmir Valley (Lead)
Srinagar : A shutdown called by separatists in support of Article 35A, which gives special powers to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, affected life across the Kashmir Valley on Sunday.
The separatist Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) called for a complete shutdown for two days in support of the Article that has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
Public transport remained off the roads and very few private vehicles were seen plying in Srinagar city and other district towns in the Valley, officials and residents said. There was heavy deployment of security forces to maintain law and order.
The ongoing Amarnath Yatra from Jammu to the cave shrine in the Kashmir Valley was partially suspended for two days due to the shutdown.
Police said no pilgrim was allowed to move from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu.
Special checkposts were set up in Udhampur and Ramban to ensure that the movement of pilgrims did not take place on the Jammu-Srinagar highway which passes through these two districts.
However, pilgrims camped at the Baltal and Pahalgam base camps in the Kashmir Valley will continue to perform the Yatra, officials said.
Since the annual pilgrimage began on June 28, over 2.71 lakh pilgrims have taken part. The Yatra ends on August 26 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.