Kashmir traders in summer capital Srinagar downed their shutters on Friday as a mark of protest against acid attack on a woman two days back.
Shops and other business establishments were closed in business hub of Srinagar – Lalchowk – for two hours before Friday prayers.
Scores of shopkeepers and business owners took out a protest rally in the city centre demanding stern punishment to the accused.
On Wednesday, a 30-year-old teacher was sprinkled with acid by a battery mechanic, Reyaz Ahmad Nath, who stalked her for the past three years, family members of the victim alleged. The woman has received severe burn injuries on her face and is reportedly scheduled to visit Delhi’s Apollo hospital for reconstructive surgery.
A rare incident of its kind in the Muslim majority state has shocked the residents drawing condemnations from people cutting across party lines.
“Our concern is security and safety of our daughters,” placards carried by the protesters in Lalchowk read. “We demand stern and prompt action against the culprits”.
Police has arrested Nath, the main culprit who owns a shop offering repair of car batteries, along with one of his accomplices. Why the accused threw acid at the woman was not immediately clear. Crime against women, hardly reported earlier in Kashmir valley, has shown a marginal increase in the recent past. Four complaints of rape were lodged with police across the state in past two weeks.
The state joined the rest of the countrymen to express outrage over the gang-rape of a Delhi girl, who died at a Singapore hospital on last Saturday. Prompted by protests, authorities in Jammu and Kashmir took a lead over other states and started a review of its laws related to sexual offences.
The officials said that the new laws will be in tune with public sentiments which will act as a proper deterrent for criminals.