SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, May 26 (Xinhua) — Normal life in Muslim majority areas of Indian-controlled Kashmir Thursday remained affected in wake of a shutdown call jointly called by separatist groups.
The call was given to protest the alleged government proposal of setting up separate residential colonies for troops and Kashmiri Hindus (locally called pandits).
Fearing clashes and protests authorities placed key separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani under house arrest and detained Muhammad Yasin Malik in a police station on Wednesday.
Hundreds of Indian policemen and paramilitary troopers were deployed on the roads to foil any protests.
Shops, businesses, educational institutions and public transport remained shut in wake of the strike call. However, private vehicles were seen plying on the roads. Work in government offices and banks remained affected to a large extent.
Separatists fear the proposed plan of setting up separate colonies would change the demography of Muslim majority region.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the psyche of majority of Kashmiris.
A separatist movement and guerilla war challenging New Delhi’s rule is going on in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989.
Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.