Valley remembers Asiya Jan, Neelofar
Shutdown Hits Normal Life
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, May 30: Normal life across the Valley was disrupted on Wednesday due to a strike called by Hurriyat Conference (G) on the third anniversary of alleged double rape and murder in Shopian.
The authorities deployed heavy contingents of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on roads in Srinagar to thwart any protest demonstration.
Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani had earlier called for shutdown on May 29, but he re-considered his decision as the day coincided with the Khirbhawani festival of Pandits. Shops, business establishments and schools across the valley remained closed while banks and government offices witnessed thin attendance. The public transport was off the roads in most parts of the Valley. However vehicles were witnessed plying on inter-district roads. In Srinagar, thin private transport plied on the roads.
In north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore, Handwara and Bandipora towns normal life was paralyzed due to the strike.
In south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag), Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam districts shops, schools and business institutions remained closed and roads wore a deserted look.
On May 29, 2009, Asiya Jan (17) and her pregnant sister-in-law, Neelofar (22), left for their orchard at Degan Batpora village of Shopian. They did not turn and next day their bodies were found in a stream at some distance from police and CRPF camps. The family was told by a neighbor that the duo had left for home just when a forces patrolling party was passing through the area.
Locals alleged the duo was raped and murdered by men in uniform. They also accused the state government and police of hiding facts and shielding the culprits. The incident triggered widespread protests for weeks together across the valley and several youth were killed in police and CRPF firing on the protestors.
Amidst public outcry, the state government on June 3, 2009, appointed a Commission headed by Justice Muzaffar Ahmad Jan to investigate the case. The panel submitted a 400-page report to the government in which it called for more investigation into the role of security force personnel into the incident.
Later the case was investigated by central investigation agency CBI and it concluded that the two women were not raped and murdered but were drowned, a theory which the locals and people in general across the valley are not ready to buy.
SHOWKAT DAR ADDS FROM SHOPIAN:
The Shopian town observed a complete shutdown against the incident. All shops, business establishments and offices remained closed throughout the day while as traffic was off the roads as the town wore a deserted look.
The town had observed a 48-day shutdown after the incident with people demanding arrest and punishment to the guilty.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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