Strike Over Shopian Disrupts Life In Kashmir

Strike Over Shopian Disrupts Life In Kashmir

30 May 2012
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: Normal life remained disrupted in Kashmir on Wednesday due to a strike called by the Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, to mark the third anniversary of the Shopian tragedy in 2009. Public transport remained off the roads, while shops and business establishments remained closed in main commercial centers. Students stayed away from schools and functioning in government offices were affected, and police and paramilitary forces had been deployed in sensitive areas. The strike came amid a bustling tourist season, with hotels and guest houses, particularly in Srinagar, running full. “Earlier we used panic due to these strike calls, but during the ten years we have been coming here and we have never had any complaints about any Kashmiri,” a tourist from South India, Subhash, said. Many shops were seen open in the civil lines areas where private cars and passenger cabs plied almost normally. Similar reports came from the central district of Budgam as well some townships in north and south Kashmir. Meanwhile some minor stone pelting incidents between youth and the forces were reported form old Srinagar. Sisters-in-law Asiya Jan and Neelofar were found dead in the Rambiara nallah of Shopian on the morning of May 29, 2009, close to police and forces camps. Locals said that the young women had been criminally assaulted and murdered by forces personnel. The incident had triggered off massive and prolonged protests across the valley during which several youth were killed in forces and police firing, and led to a 47-day shutdown in the Shopian town itself. Geelani had earlier called for a strike on May 29, but deferred it by a day due to the Pandit festival of Khir Bhavani.