Normal life was disrupted in some parts of Kashmir today due to a strike called by hardline Hurriyat Conference to protest the alleged arrest of many youths in the Valley.

Shops and business establishments in and around the commercial nerve centre of Lal Chowk were closed due to the strike called by Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, officials said.

Private schools and most of the banks also remained closed due to the strike, they said. Vehicles were seen plying in most parts of the city.

However, the suburbs of the city observed a partial shutdown. Partial strike was also observed in the district town headquarters of the Valley but life was going on as usual in the villages and smaller towns, they said.

Mr. Geelani had called for a complete shutdown today to protest against, what he termed as, “rampant” arrest of youth by police and security agencies for holding peaceful demonstrations.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, S M Sahai said the allegation of wanton arrests was levelled by people with the aim of misleading people. He said the arrested persons are wanted in serious crimes like rioting and attacking security forces.

JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and several leaders of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference had staged a dharna last night against the alleged arrests. Mr. Malik and Hurriyat leader Bilal Gani Lone were later taken into preventive custody by police.