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Hurriyat shutdown brings Kashmir to a standstill

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
June 01, 2009 14:13 IST
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Widespread protests and a shutdown, to protest the alleged rape and murder of two young women, brought Kashmir valley to a standstill on Monday.

Since early on Monday morning, youths took to the streets of Srinagar and pelted stones at the police, paramilitary and Central Reserve Police Force personnel.

Even though the authorities had imposed curfew like restrictions in certain areas, theĀ  protestors defied the curfew by burning old tyres and smashed the windows of both private and police vehicles.

According to reports, security forces used batons and teargas to quell the mobs in various localities.

Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for a shutdown to protest the alleged rape and murder of two women near south Kashmir's Shopian town, 60 kms away from Srinagar.

Shops, businesses, government offices, educational institutions and banks remained shut throughout the valley. Both private and public transport remained off the roads.

The authorities have made heavy security arrangements by deploying the police and the CRPF in Srinagar and other towns.

Shopian town remained tense on Monday as the district administration enforced security restrictions and sealed off all the entry and exit points to the town.

Reports also said that stone pelting mobs clashed with security forces in the major towns of south Kashmir today.

The state government has assured prompt action against those involved in the incident.
The autopsy reports are awaited and a deputy superintendent of police is already investigating the case.

Bodies of the two women, 22-year old Neelofar Jan and 17-year old Asiya Jan, were recovered from a village stream near Shopian town on Saturday and the villagers alleged that the two had been raped and subsequently murdered by the security forces.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar