Anti-US protest closes shops in J&K
16 November 2001
The Times of India
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SRINAGAR: A one-day strike to protest against the killing of civilians in US- led air strikes on Afghanistan on Friday closed shops and businesses in Kashmir, residents said.The strike was sponsored by a pro-Pakistan militant group, Al Umar Mujahideen. ''The strike is to register strong protest against the killing of civilians in US-led strikes in Afghanistan,'' the spokesman of Al Umar told reporters.The strike closed down most shops, banks and businesses in Srinagar, residents said.However, schools and colleges functioned normally and police said that the strike had a ''negligible impact'' in other parts of the Muslim-majority state.Al Umar also urged Muslims to take part in a demonstration march from Srinagar''s main mosque after Friday prayers. Local and federal police were stationed in strength around the mosque to prevent any protests, officials said.Some Muslims have been staging pro-Taliban and anti-US protests there on Fridays in the past few weeks since the US launched retaliatory strikes against Afghanistan on October 7.A dozen people were injured November 9, including a photographer, when police used force to disperse several dozen Muslim youths near the mosque.Kashmir''s main separatist alliance, the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), which has supported the US-led action, has urged Kashmiri Muslims not to be swayed by emotion.