In the wake of 50-hour strike called by separatists boycotting elections, life in Kashmir valley was paralysed with business and markets being almost closed. The polling for Sri Nagar Lok Sabha seats is to be held on Thursday.
In response to call given last evening by hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani against holding of elections, shops, business firms, school and colleges, banks, courts and semi government organization remained closed and private transport off the roads also did not operate.
Though government institutions were open but attendance was thin. The divisional administration had ordered all departmental heads to ensure attendance of employees in their offices during the strike period.
The decision came following 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.
To maintain law and order, police force and security personnel have been deployed in the city and elsewhere in the valley.
Security has been tightened around 1,483 polling stations including 665 hyper-sensitive booths set up across Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency spread over three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal.
It should be mentioned that several top separatists including chairmen of both the factions of Hurriyat conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest, while nearly 12 prominent separatists have already been detained.
In the elections, a total of 11 lakh voters will decide the fate of National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, who is among 15 candidates trying his luck in the constituency.Among the formidable opponents of Abdullah are PDP’s Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari and his estranged sister Begum Khalida Shah, president of Awami National Conference.