Srinagar, May 24: Shops and business establishments remained closed today following a shutdown call given by hardline faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). The APHC is protesting against President Pratibha Patil's five-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
According to media reports, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the Chairman of the APHC, had termed President Patil's visit "a deep rooted conspiracy to mislead the international community."
Geelani had reportedly said that their objection is that the President is "coming to a disputed territory" accompanied by India's military might.
"Geelani had called for this shutdown because the President is here. They should understand that Kashmir is still a disputed area. Since they are coming here like this with military force," said Imran, a resident.
Patil, who is on a five-day visit, met soldiers and officers of the Army in forward areas on Friday.
Addressing the troops at Baramulla, Patil congratulated them for performing their duties along the Line of Control (LoC) with alertness, dedication and bravery.
After assuming the highest office in the country, this is the first visit by President Patil to J-K.
Patil will also visit Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar to deliver the convocation address. She is also scheduled to inaugurate the Institute of Kashmir Studies at Kashmir University in Srinagar.
On Sunday, President Patil is expected to inaugurate the university complex at Bhadarwah.
Thereafter, from Jammu, the President will travel to Himachal Pradesh on a state visit to participate in official functions.
President Patil will return to New Delhi on June 1.