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Spontaneous strike, protests in Kashmir
Firing in air, teargassing, clashes; Yasin, Shabir arrested
SRINAGAR, July 18: A spontaneous general strike was observed in most parts of Kashmir valley today in protest again the sacrilege of holy Quran and BSF firing on protesters in Gool Gulabgarh.

Senior separatist leaders Mohammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Ahmad Shah were arrested, while others including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq placed under house arrest.

Protest demonstrations were also held at several places and the protesters clashed with cops, who used force to disperse them. Several youths and some policemen also got injured in these clashes.

Clashes and spontaneous shutdown was observed at Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian, Dooru, Anantnag, Baramulla and various other areas of north, south and central Kashmir.

Massive protest also erupted in the main town Pulwama against the killing. The police fired in air, lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge. The youths pelted stones towards the police and CRPF. The clashes continued for several hours in which several youths and some policemen got injured.

Life started on a normal note in Kashmir today. In the afternoon as the news about the civilian killings in BSF firing in Ramban district spread, tension mounted in entire Srinagar city. Amid this tense situation, the shopkeepers pulled down their shutters and observed a spontaneous general strike. The other business establishments and colleges were also closed ahead of the schedule time. The vehicular traffic movement on roads was also affected.

At Maisuma, Yasin Malik led a protest march and was heading towards Lal Chowk. However police stopped him at Budshah Chowk along with other leaders including Javid Ahead Mir and later arrested them. The JKLF leaders and supporters lodged a strong protest against the arrests and intensified the protests. The policemen resorted to lathi charge to disperse them.

Reinforcement of police and paramilitary forces was rushed to the affected areas to bring the situation under control.

Another protest demonstration was held at Kokar Bazar. The demonstrators tried to move towards Lal Chowk, but police foiled their bid near Palladium Cinema building. The cops resorted to lathi charge and the demonstrators pelted stones.

People in large numbers also held protest demonstrations at Pulwama against the killing. The police used force against the protesters to disperse them. The youths pelted stones towards the police. The clashes continued for several hours.

The students of Kashmir University also held protest demonstrations against the killings. They shouted slogans against the police, BSF involved in the incident.

Within no time, the life came to a standstill at the historic Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, residency road, Moulana Azad road, Court Road, Hari Singh High Street, Regal Chowk, Polo View, Rajouri Kadal, Bahori Kadal, Khanyar and other areas of civil and old city of Srinagar.

A spontaneous shutdown was observed at Pulwama, Shopian, Dooru, Anantnag, Baramulla and other areas.

Shabir Shah was arrested while he was on his way to Tral.

Following the spontaneous strike and tension most people who were out for work returned to their homes much ahead of their scheduled time. They included businessmen, students of colleges and universities and government employees also. The passengers also faced lack of transport facilities from afternoon hours on various routes of the city.

The authorities beefed up security across the state. Heavy deployment of police and para military forces was made at sensitive places.

News Updated at : Friday, July 19, 2013
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