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Kashmir shuts down in protest again

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
November 07, 2008 11:54 IST
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Kashmir is shut for the second consecutive day following strict curfew-like restrictions imposed by authorities to prevent the separatist march to the historic Jamia mosque in old city.


Heavy police and paramilitary, Central reserve police force (CRPF) contingents were deployed in strength throughout the summer capital Srinagar early today, to enforce the restrictions.


The security forces have blocked roads by razor fitted wire coils in city and the outskirts.


All shops and business establishments in capital city are closed for the second day, and both private and public transport is off the roads.


Government offices, banks and educational institutions remained closed here and authorities have re-scheduled the ongoing board and university examinations.


The coordination committee, comprising representatives of both All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) groups, traders and bar association had re-scheduled its Thursday's march to Jamia masjid in the Nowhatta area of old city to Friday, where it would announce its poll boycott programme.


In a statement the committee has called for marches to the district headquarters in the valley on poll days and also city centre Lal Chowk challo march on December 24 when Srinagar district goes to polls.


Authorities have already detained almost all the top separatist leaders except Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, who has been placed under house arrest in the uptown Nageen residence.


Another top senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani is presently out of the valley undergoing treatment in Delhi.


"We have decided to enforce restrictions under section 144 of the CRPC strictly today and nobody will be allowed to violate it," a senior police officer said.


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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar