Normal life was disrupted in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday with separatists calling a strike against the detention of their leaders.
Markets, banks, semi-government institutions were closed and transport remained off the roads in Srinagar and other major towns in the state in response to the call given by hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference to protest against booking of its chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani under Public Safety Act (PSA) and continued detention of other separatist leaders.
Attendance in government offices was thin, officials said.
Besides Geelani, over a dozen other separatist leaders, including Democratic Freedom Party President Shabir Ahmad Shah, National Front chairman Nayeem Khan, Chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat Asiya Andrabi were arrested by police and booked under PSA over the past two months following widespread protests over the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian on May 30.
Over 400 youths were also arrested by police for their alleged involvement in stone pelting incidents, which has become common in the Valley since Amarnath land row last year.
The impact of strike was quite visible in Anantnag district, 55 kilometres from here, following tight security arrangements made by authorities in view of clashes between the locals and law enforcing agencies yesterday in the wake of ransacking of showroom of a businessman Zahoor Misger for his alleged involvement in human trafficking.
Misger was arrested last week at Srinagar airport along with two girls while boarding a flight to Mumbai. Although, no curfew was imposed, police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the town to maintain law and order, official sources said.
Locals complained that they were not allowed to move out of their houses, but police said that prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were being implemented. Reports from other district towns said that complete shutdown was observed with shops and business establishments closed and transport off the roads.