Kashmir, Banihal shut for second straight day against NIA raids, assault on Article 35A

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A complete shutdown is being observed in Kashmir valley and Banihal town for the second consecutive day on Thursday against the NIA raids on the residences of top separatist leaders including Muhammad Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and “attempts to tinker with” Article 35-A.

The two-day call for shutdown (for Wednesday and Thursday) has been issued by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.

The shutdown call evoked a complete response as all the business establishments and private offices remain closed for the second straight day.

The public transport remained off the roads while few private vehicles could be seen plying in some up-town areas of Srinagar city.

Reports of complete shutdown also came from southern districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag and also from the northern districts of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown is also being observed in Banihal and Khari tehsils of Ramban district for the second consecutive day on the JRL call.  

On Tuesday, the NIA sleuths carried out raids at the residences of seven separatist leaders including the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (at Nigeen), JKLF chief Malik (at Maisuma), Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai (at Hyderpora), Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s son Naseem Geelani, Masrat Alam Bhat, Shabir Ahmed Shah and Zafar Akbar Bhat.

The NIA in its statement claimed to have seized “incriminating material” during the raids.