Strike, protests in Kashmir after Friday prayers

September 19th, 2008 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Sep 19 (IANS) The Kashmir valley witnessed large-scale protests after the Friday prayers along with an afternoon shutdown.The protests and the shutdown followed a call by the separatist co-ordination committee comprising of representatives of various separatist groups, traders and lawyers.

Shops, business establishments, government offices, banks and educational institutions shut down in the afternoon as traffic deserted the streets.

People came out of various mosques on to the streets immediately after the Friday prayers in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital and all major towns in the valley and held protests shouting pro-freedom slogans.

Lawyers also held similar protests in the Lal Chowk, the city centre, in the afternoon.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik led a procession from Maisuma towards the city centre.

In Baramulla town in north Kashmir several thousand people took out a procession shouting independence slogans.

Protests were also reported from almost all major and minor valley towns including Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama in south Kashmir and Bandipore, Sopore, Ganderbal, Kangan and other places of north Kashmir.

A senior police officer said the protests were peaceful barring some incidents of stone pelting in the old city. He said protesters roughed up two policemen and snatched a teargas gun from one of them at Nowhatta here.

Police responded by using batons and firing teargas.

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