General strike hits life in Kashmir valley
28 December 2001
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Normal life was disrupted today in Srinagar and other major towns of Kashmir valley following a general strike called by Hurriyat Conference to protest the killing of five women belonging to minority communities last week and the alleged violation of human rights in the state. The streets and main markets in summer capital Srinagar wore a deserted look as people remained indoors with all modes of transport being off the roads. However, there was no report of any bandh-related violence from any part of the valley. A Hurriyat Conference spokesman said ''only anti-movement elements can resort to such henious crime,'' referring to the killings of the women belonging to Sikh and Pandit families at Poshkreeri and Hugam villages in Bijbehara area of Anantnag on December 21. He said minorities were very dear to Hurriyat and protecting them was a religious obligation. ''We also feel insecure,'' the spokesman said and demanded an impartial probe into the killings. While authorities blamed militants for the killing, militant groups and secessionist organisations allged that the killings were carried out by ''pro- government'' agencies to malign the ongoing ''struggle'' in Kashmir.