Separatists-backed strike hits normal life in Kashmir on Republic Day

Srinagar | Normal life was affected in Kashmir on Saturday due to a strike called by separatist groups, which asked people to observe the Republic Day as a “black day”.

Shops, offices, petrol pumps and business establishments in Srinagar remained closed while public transport services were suspended, officials said.

The effect of the strike was visibly accentuated on Republic Day when strict security arrangement was in place to maintain law and order.

The officials said reports of the shutdown were also received from major towns of the Valley. However, the Republic Day celebrations passed peacefully.

The separatists had called for observance of “black day” on January 26 to press for early resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“For past 71 years, people of J&K are demanding the right to self-determination that Indian leadership promised to them not only in the United Nations or the Indian Parliament but reiterated at Lal Chowk in Srinagar by none other than Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

“However, till this day not only has that commitment not been fulfilled but those that remind them of it are rewarded with bullets and pellets are incarcerated and gagged,” joint resistance leadership, an amalgam of separatist groups, said in a statement issued earlier this week.

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