SRINAGAR:Normal life came to a haltacross Kashmir Valley and Muslim dominated Chenab and Pirpanchal valleys in Jammu division Saturday following aseparatist shutdown while official functions were held under tight securityto mark Indias 69th Independence Day.
A security blanket was thrown around Valley, with all mobile phone networks and internet services suspended for most of the day.
Following the footsteps of predecessor governments the six-month-old PDP-BJP coalition Govt. adopted the old strategy of laying a siege of the populated areas, erecting barricades on all major roads of the city besidesplacing all the separatist leaders under house arrest.
Both factions of Hurriyat Conference, pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Kashmir High Court Bar Association and other resistance groups had called for observing the August 15 as black day.
Markets and business establishments in the capitalandall major districts and towns remained closed while traffic was off the roads.
However according to an official spokesman the day passed off peacefully. Thousands of policemen and paramilitary personnelsealed off Srinagar and other towns to ensure trouble free official functions.
Restrictions were placed on the movement of general public with barricades on roads.
However reports of that there were minor stone pelting incidents at Qaimoh in Kulgam, Shopian town and MR Gung in Srinagar. There were no reports of injury to anyone in the incidents.
Bakhshi stadiumthe main venue for the function in the summer capitalwas placed under unprecedented security cover.
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed inspected the guard of honour and unfurled the Indian flag.
Eyewitnesses said that all roads leading to the stadium were closed and police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were seen frisking the people, including officials who visited the venue. The uniformed men checked the invitation and identity cards of all people before allowing people towards the venue, they added.
Road blockades were erected to prevent any vehicle, except those having car passes, to enter the stadium area.
Reports of complete strike were received from all the major districts of the valley including Islamabad, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Budgam.
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