Separatist Shutdown Affects Life In Kashmir Valley
Shops and other businesses were shut in most parts of the Kashmir valley on Friday in response to a shutdown call by separatists demanding that the body of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was executed February 9, be returned to his family.
The authorities have, however, not imposed any restrictions.
“No restrictions have been imposed anywhere in the valley today (Friday) although adequate steps have been taken to monitor the law and order situation,” a senior police officer said.
There was heavy deployment of police and paramilitary troopers in the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital Srinagar and other major towns of the valley.
Public transport was off the roads though some private vehicles were seen.
Security forces, however, did not stop pedestrian and vehicular movement anywhere in the old city or uptown areas in Srinagar.
The Muttahida Majlis-e-Mushawarat (MMM) of separatist groups sought the return of Afzal Guru’s body to his family and called for a protest shutdown on Friday.
The pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has called for post-Friday prayer protests.
The MMM has been issuing weekly protest calendars to continue the struggle for the return of Afzal Guru’s body to his family. The same demand has been raised by the ruling National Conference and the opposition People’s Democratic Party in the state.
On February 9, Afzal Guru was hung till death at the Tihar jail in New Delhi and buried near his solitary cell. He was sentenced to death for his role in the attack on Parliament House on December 13, 2001.