Normal life resumes as Kashmir shutdown lifted

June 9th, 2009 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 9 (IANS) Life limped back to normal in the Kashmir Valley Tuesday after eight days of a shutdown and violent protests, even as fresh violence left at least 20 people injured during demonstrations over the alleged rape and murder of two women.
Educational institutions, business establishments, government offices and banks resumed their work after remaining closed for the last eight days.

However, life in south Kashmir’s Pulwama town, where protestors and police clashed again, remained out of gear. At least 20 people, including some policemen, were injured in the fresh violence.

Peaceful protests by students were held here and in other major cities and towns of the valley Tuesday. The protesting students clashed with the security forces, who used batons and tear smoke shells to disperse them.

Shopian town also remained closed as the tension was palpable over the alleged rape and murder of two women - Neelofar Jan, 22, and Asiya Jan, 17, - whose bodies were found May 30 on the banks of a stream near their house.

People are alleging that security forces are involved in the crime.

A forensic science laboratory report has confirmed the rape and the murder, and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has ordered a judicial probe to identify the culprits.

Justice (retd) Muzaffar Jan, who is conducting the probe, Tuesday met some people in Shopian who volunteered information before the commission in connection with the rape and murder of the two women.

Violent protests have rocked the entire valley since the incident, triggering a fresh wave of unrest at a time when the tourist season had started to pick up. One person has been killed and over 130 people have been injured in the protests so far.

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