APHC strike to protest Army presence in Valley
27 October 2002
Srinagar: Normal life was disrupted in the entire Kashmir Valley on Sunday following a strike call from separatist amalgam All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC). The strike was called to mark protest against the presence of Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir, which had landed here on this day in 1947. The police launched a major crackdown in Srinagar during the preceding night and arrested around 11 APHC leaders and activists including JKLF acting chairman Javed Ahmad Mir. During the night-long raids, the police swooped on APHC headquarter at Rajbagh and several other localities in Srinagar to arrest active workers and second rung leaders of the conglomerate who had plans to organise protest rallies on Sunday. Besides Javed Mir, Human Rights Front Convenor Ahsan Ontoo and Awami Action Committee leader Shahidul Islam were also arrested. Senior Hurriyat executive member and chief of Ittihadul Muslimeen Maulana Abbas Ansari was put under house- arrest at his Khanqah-e-Sokhta residence in old Srinagar. The police also raided Peoples'' League and Muslim League offices at Rajbagh. A senior police officer said that the arrests were inevitable following the reports that the Hurriyat leaders were planning to cause disturbance in the capital. He said they have been lodged at Kothibagh, Rajbagh and Kralkhud Police stations. Meanwhile, shops and business establishments were shut on Suday following the strike by APHC, which was supported by several militant outfits. Traffic was also lean on the roads. A spokesman of the Hurriyat condemned the arrests and said that such attempts would not suppress the Kashmiris. In a statement he said that Kashmiris would continue their struggle for the right of self determination.