Shutdown over alleged rape affects life in Kashmir

July 23rd, 2011 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, July 23 (IANS) Normal life across Kashmir Valley was affected Saturday following a shutdown called by separatists against the alleged abduction and rape of a woman by army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Markets and educational institutions remained closed while thin attendance was recorded in government offices because of non-availability of public transport in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital and other towns.

Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in Srinagar city and other major towns of the valley to ensure law and order during the shutdown.

“We are keeping a close watch on the situation. Sufficient precautions have been taken to ensure that anti-social elements and miscreants are prevented from creating a law and order situation, a police officer told IANS.

“Continuing peace in the valley has already frustrated elements inimical to peace,” he added.

Almost all separatist organisations and leaders — hardline Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), religious organisation, Jamait-e-Ahlehadis and other separatist groups have appealed the people for a protest shutdown.

Reports from the south Kashmir’s Kulgam town indicated tensions were running high after Friday’s clashes between the security forces and protesters which left 10 people injured.

The protesters had torched the official vehicle of an executive magistrate in the town.

“Nobody was grievously hurt during yesterday’s (Friday’s) protests as the security forces used utmost restraint during crowd control,” said a police officer.

A 30-year-old married tribal woman has alleged that two army personnel had abducted her Tuesday evening and raped her by holding her hostage for 48 hours in a meadow hutment.

Police have registered a complaint in the case and a special investigating team has been formed to nab the culprits

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