However, when he halted at a hotel in Ramban for lunch, he was arrested by the Central Intelligence Bureau officials who handed him over to the State police. The State police instead of taking him to Jammu brought him to Srinagar on orders from the higher authorities. This was a signal for trouble in the valley. There were widespread disturbances and complete hartal for several days. Subversion was raised to high peaks and the government got totally paralysed. A number of public buildings were set on fire. These included Handicrafts Centre at Sopore, sheep husbandry office at Baramulla, Boys School at Tahab in Pulwana District. A girl's school in Ratnipora also in Pulwana district and a bridge near Pahalgam. A Chinese made hand-grenade was also hurled at Lal Chowk. Two relatives of policemen were gunned down in village Wagoora. There were many cases of arson of schools, shopping complexes, government offices, public buildings etc. When Shabir Shah was brought to Srinagar, Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar refused to sign his warrant of detention. Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag also flatly refused. When he was produced in the court, the government Advocates refused to appear against him. The Advocate-General decided to get off the situation. He submitted his own resignation and returned to Delhi adopting Loyyd George's formula of Safety first. In Delhi, he was alter appointed as Additional Solicitor-General of India. In this connection, it has to be noted and noted markedly that it was September 1989, and Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister and the state was ruled by Congress-National Conference Coalition government headed by Dr.Farooq Abdullah and among the Cabinet Ministers were the senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Rasool Kar, Mangat Ram Sharma, Iftikhar Hussain Insari and others. What were these worthies doing in the meanwhile? Farooq, his ministers and high Government officials were listening music and viewing dance at Gulmarg. There was a week-long programme jointly organised by the State Government and the Times of India group of newspapers. Yamini Krishnamurthy was dancing and classical music was on. The Union Home Ministry behaved like a bunch of headless chickens mechanically doing cluck, cluck sounds totally unaccompanied by any action. Sardar Buta Singh was the Home Minister.
On 9th October, 1989, a large delegation from Pakistan visited Kashmir under official patronage. There were 60 people -- many V.I.P. wives. Government provided them all facilities while they got busy with their mission. The total collapse of government authority resulted in utter demoralisation in the ranks of National Conference and Congress(I). The organisational structure of these parties collapsed like a house of cards. From then onwards local daily newspapers were full of advertisements inserted by leaders and workers of these two parties announcing their complete dissociation from their organisations and begging Shabir Shah to forget and forgive them. In the month of October, terrorism had begun to grow slowly but steadily. Violent incidents continued unabated. There were about 50 bomb explosions causing injuries to 39 persons and scores of cases of arson. There were 15 incidents of firing by terrorists in which some people were killed and several injured severally. The objectives of the first phase of subversion and terrorism was to create a general fear and paralyse the government. From November onwards began the second phase.