Srinagar, Dec 27: Thousands of people today took to the streets at Charar-e-Sharief town in central Kashmir after a councillor, on hunger strike, demanding a degree college, was taken to hospital in critical condition last evening.
Meanwhile, life remained paralysed for the fourth day today in town and adjoining villages due to a total shutdown, demanding setting up of a degree college. Similar protests were also held in other areas in the valley last week after the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet announced the decision to set up 18 new degree colleges across the state.
A resident Ghulam Nabi told the sources over phone that thousands of people from different villages, who gathered near the holy shrine of Sheikh Nooruddin Wali, were peacefully protesting against the state governments silence over the issue.
He said Nazir Ahmad, a municipal councilor of People Democratic Party (PDP), who was on hunger strike for the past three days, has been taken to hospital in critical condition. The agitators, raising slogans against the government, have burnt tyres and wood in the middle of the road.
Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the road in the town, including in and around the holy shrine of Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali.
Reports of total strike were also received from other adjoining villages, including Nougam, Chadoora and Kandajan, Alamdar coloney and Pakherpora.
People, who have blocked traffic on main roads, were demanding the setting up of a degree college in the area. They alleged that there is no degree college in the entire area and hundreds of students of about three dozen villages had to travel to Srinagar for studies.
Work in government offices and other commercial establishments was also affected due to strike. The valley witnessed similar demands from other areas also. However, at Magam, one person was killed and 25 others were injured after police opened fire to disperse violent demonstrators last week.