Kashmir shuts against life-sentences
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, Dec 10: Normal life across Kashmir was paralyzed on Monday due to the shutdown called by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front to protest the recent life sentences to two Kashmiri youth recently.
The strike called by the JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was supported by the Hurriyat Conference (M), Hurriyat Conference (G), High Court Bar Association (HCBA), Lashkar-e-Toiba, Mahaz-e-Azadi, Dukhtaran-e-Millat and others.
The shutdown was called to protest against the life sentences to two Kashmiris, Nazir Ahmed Sheikh and Showkat Ahmed, by a TADA court in Jammu on December 3. Nazir and Showkat have already spent around 15 years in jails. A fortnight ago, the J&K High Court refused to release Muslim League chairman Dr Qasim Faktoo after 20 years of detention, saying life sentence meant ‘imprisonment for entire life and not just 14 years.’
Shops and other business establishments were closed across the valley and public transport was off the roads. Attendance in government offices was thin. Most educational institutions remained closed, however examinations were held in colleges.
Only private vehicles, some three-wheelers and police could be seen on Srinagar roads. However, vehicles carrying tourists to different tourist resorts moved normally.
Authorities had made elaborate security arrangements in Srinagar and other towns of the valley to thwart any protest demonstrations.
Additional columns of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in all the major towns and volatile places across the valley.
In the sensitive old Srinagar city, police and CRPF in heavy numbers, wearing riot gear, were seen manning the lanes and by-lanes of many localities. In the uptown, forces were deployed at many sensitive places. However, no untoward incident was reported from anywhere. Armored vehicles were also seen at some road junctions in Srinagar to thwart any protest demonstration.
Heavy deployment of police and CRPF was also made in areas falling under Maisuma police station in Srinagar where JKLF headquarters is located.
Sonawar area of Srinagar in the neighbourhood of Badamibagh Cantonment, which usually remains open during shutdowns, also remained closed in view of the strike call.
Life also remained crippled in Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore, Handwara and Bandipora towns of north Kashmir due to the strike. Shops and other business establishments remained closed and attendance in government offices was thin. However, thin public transport plied on inter-district roads in north Kashmir.
Islamabad (Anantnag) town of south Kashmir was also affected due to the strike as shops and other business institutions remained closed. Strike was also observed in Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts of south Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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