Kashmir observed a shutdown called by the separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on the occasion of the nation’s 67th Independence Day on Thursday.
United Jihad Council leader Sayeed Salahudeen, also backed the shutdown. Markets and shops were closed and traffic was off the road across the valley.
Security arrangements were tight to thwart any attempt by the militants to disrupt Independence Day celebrations. Barricades were set up at different entry points and security checking was intensified.
The strike was called over Geelani’s demand for the immediate disbanding of Village Defence Committees (VDC).
Hurriyat Conference leaders and members reportedly criticised Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for ‘giving a clean chit’ to VDC members.
The Hurriyat members have also filed an FIR against VDC members for provoking communal tensions in Kishtwar district of Kashmir.
This step was taken by the separatist groups following incidents of arson and violence after a clash between two communities on August 9 that claimed two lives in Kishtwar town, located about 141-miles from Jammu district.
Previously, the recurring state of unrest in the state had compelled the government to take measures to ensure safety and security in the state in lieu of the Independence Day celebrations across the country.