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APHC calls for month-long bandh in the Valley

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
September 07, 2008 22:00 IST
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The co-ordination committee which is a conglomerate of both groups of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, traders and businessmen of the Valley has called for a protest shutdown on Monday, against the all party-meet convened by The Election Commission, recent arrests and Saturday's killing of a youth in police firing.

Talking to journalists at his uptown Hyderpora residence on Sunday evening, the hard-line separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani who chaired Sunday's co-ordination committee meeting announced what he called "a month long resistance programme".

Geelani said, "Tomorrow there will be a general shut down against the all party-meeting called by the Election Commission to explore the possibility of early elections in the state."

The hardline separatist leader who heads his APHC group said that Monday's protest shut down was "also against the killing of a youth in police firing at Nowhatta yesterday and indiscriminate arrests in the Valley."

Sunday's meeting was attended by representatives of both the APHC groups, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, bar association, local trader's federation, state government employees association and chambers of commerce and industry.

The coordination committee also said there would be peaceful protests after Friday prayers and an afternoon general shutdown across the valley. "There will, however, be no protests on September 26, which is the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan."

The coordination committee also called for a march to the city centre Lal Chowk which was pre-empted by the authorities on August 25 by clamping a valleywide curfew and heavy deployments of police and paramilitary, and arrest of almost all the top separatist leaders.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar