Partial Response To J-K Separatists' Strike Call
26 August 2003
The Indian Express
Srinagar: The strike call given by separatist organisations, including the Hurriyat Conference to protest against Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's three-day visit and holding of inter-state council meet in Srinagar on Wednesday evoked partial response. Skeleton public transport vehicles were seen plying on the roads of the city, while there was no drop in the numbers of private vehicles. While few localities in the city wore a deserted look, many streets and commercial hubs were seen functioning normally. Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had initially given the strike call during the council meet, which was later supported by Hurriyat and major militant organisations, including the Hizbul Mujahideen and Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen. Reports from other parts of the Valley suggested that normal life remained unaffected due to the bandh call in north Kashmir, including Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla. Ironically, there was a complete shutdown in Annantnagand other parts of the south Kashmir where the ruling PDP is dominant. The Prime Minister will formally declare open the inter-state council meet later in the evening. He will leave for Jammu on Thursday before returning to the Capital on Friday.