Separatist strike shuts down Kashmir valley

October 24th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Oct 24 (IANS) Life in the Kashmir valley came to a standstill Friday in response to the Hurriyat Conference’s call for a shutdown to protest the arrest of separatist leaders and the UN’s “indifference” to Kashmir. Businesses were shut as were government offices and educational institutions and traffic, except for a few private vehicles, was off the road as the strike called by senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani and endorsed by the joint coordination committee of both the Hurriyat groups came into effect.

Heavy paramilitary and police reinforcements were moved into sensitive downtown localities and security restrictions were being strictly enforced to prevent trouble after Friday prayers. Security was also tight in other towns.

According to a local resident, Ayub Zargar, paramilitary forces were enforcing undeclared curfew and were not allowing any movement in the old city.

“They asked us not to venture out of our homes as there was curfew in the area. We are confined to our homes.”

A senior police officer denied there was curfew in the area but admitted security restrictions were being enforced.

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