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Protests against Afzal's death sentence rock Srinagar

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
September 27, 2006 14:36 IST
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Protests rocked Srinagar on Wednesday as hundreds of activists demonstrated against the death sentence given to Afzal Guru, who was convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack case.

Pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front activists marched through the civil line area of the summer capital, forcing shops to shut down and obstructing traffic.

Cops baton charged the protestors and fired tear gas shells.

The police also arrested the JKLF chairman Yasin Malik and some of his activists.

Similar protests were held women's separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Milat, whose burqa-clad cadre marched in the civil line areas shouting slogans in favour of Afzal Guru.

They blocked traffic briefly before being dispersed.

Protests were also held in the apple-rich town of Sopore, 54 kms from Srinagar.

Afzal belongs to Tarzu village near Sopore town.

In Kashmir University, over one thousand students boycotted classes and gathered in the campus.

The authorities had alerted the police, who deployed additional forces near the university campus.

A Delhi court on Tuesday ordered Afzal's hanging on October 20.


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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar