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Geelani arrested, strike on in Kashmir valley

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
June 07, 2009 22:36 IST
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Following confirmation of the gangrape of the two women in south Kashmir Shopian district, the police  on Sunday filed an FIR of rape and murder in the incident.

Kashmir has been on the boil for more than a week, after the bodies of  17-year old Asiya Jan and her pregnant 22-year old sister-in-law, Neelofar Jan were recovered by the police from a village stream in Shopian town last Saturday. The bodies of the two women were taken to Shopian district hospital where a team of doctors headed by the chief medical officer of adjoining Pulwama district conducted the autopsy.

The samples collected were sent to the states Forensic Science Laboratory which handed over its report to the state government on Saturday. "We have got the FSL report and it has confirmed the gangrape of the two women. We have now registered a new FIR for rape and murder," a senior police officer said in Srinagar. In their initial post-mortem report, the team of doctors had mentioned that there were visible marks of violence on the lower parts of the two bodies.

The villagers had alleged that the two women were raped and murdered by the security forces, a charge so far denied by the state government. Initially, the state chief minister had said that 'it was a case of death by drowning' but following the massive protests and general shut down, Omar Abdullah ordered a judicial probe to be headed by a retired high court judge.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party has been pressing the government to lodge an FIR in the incident. Hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani who was arrested by the police on Saturday had called for a week long protest shut down which crippled normal life in the Valley.Geelani was taken to an undisclosed destination after his arrest by the police. He has called for a march to Shopian on Monday.

Massive protests continued to rock the capital city and police and paramilitary forces had to use teargas and batons to disperse violent stone pelting youths. The trouble erupted on Sunday morning, after a group of women led by Dukhtarani Milat chief, Asiya Andrabi marched towards the Eidgah grounds for a protest.However, they were chased away by the police who used tearsmoke and batons. The trouble later spread to parts of the old city where security forces engaged the protestors. 

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
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