July 2006 News

Kashmir strike enters second day

29 July 2006

Srinagar: People in Indian-administered Kashmir's main city have observed a second day of strike in protest at President APJ Kalam's visit to the region. Shops and schools in Srinagar remained closed and the streets were deserted after separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani called a general strike. He says President Kalam shares responsibility for human rights abuses committed by Indian security forces. He also says the abuses worsened ahead of the presidential visit. 'As supreme commander of the armed forces, the president is morally responsible for the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir,' Mr Geelani was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency. Violent insurgency Delhi has struggled to quell a bloody separatist insurgency in Kashmir for 17 years. Security has been tightened in Srinagar ahead of the visit The Indian authorities say they investigate any violations by their forces and punish those who are found guilty. Security was very tight ahead of President Kalam's visit to Srinagar, which has seen an upsurge in violence over the last three months. The president, who is touring Kashmir for two days, addressed a joint session of the state legislature in the city on Friday. He is expected to return to Delhi on Saturday. Economic incentive He announced proposals to create an economic zone near the Line of Control that divides the Indian and Pakistani-administered parts of Kashmir. President Kalam said the project, involving the leasing of land near the line for cultivation, would boost efforts to bring peace to the region. 'Once people participate in the development of land, they themselves will oppose intervention from the wrong elements,' he told legislators.


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