Life hit in Kashmir Valley ahead of polls

6 May 2009
The Hindustan Times

Srinagar: Life was paralysed in Kashmir Valley today due to the 50-hour strike called by separatists ahead of polling in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday. Almost all shops and business establishments, educational institutions, banks, courts and semi-government establishments were closed and private transport off the roads in the valley including Srinagar in response to the call given by hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani against holding of elections in the state. The strike began last evening. Though government offices were functioning, attendance was thin. Authorities pressed into service State Road Transport Corporation buses on several routes to ferry employees. The divisional administration had ordered all departmental heads to ensure attendance of employees in their offices during the strike period. The decision came after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed concern over the disruption of work in government offices and institutions last week in view of similar strike called by separatists. Thousands of police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the city and elsewhere in the valley to maintain law and order.