February 2007 News

Kashmir shuts down against custody killings

6 February 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

Srinagar: A strike against human rights violations crippled life in the Kashmir Valley Tuesday as Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Muhammad Yasin Malik began a three-day hunger strike against 'fake encounters'.The JKLF sponsored shutdown brought life to a grinding halt in the Valley with shops and businesses shut, and public and private transport off the roads. Banks and government offices remained closed in this summer capital and other towns.The strike was also observed in other towns of Kashmir and inter- district transport suspended.Police used teargas and batons to disperse sloganeering members of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference members at Rajbagh locality. Stone-throwing crowds were chased away by the police in Gojiwara, Nowhatta and other areas in Srinagar.Malik began his fast outside the JKLF headquarters in Maisuma here and was joined by scores of his supporters. Shouting slogans, supporters from other city areas also marched to Maisuma early Tuesday.The JKLF chairperson has threatened an indefinite hunger strike if human rights violations are not halted in a month and a half. State authorities have made tight security arrangements in the capital city to maintain law and order. Tensions are running high in Jammu and Kashmir after the exposure of 'fake encounters' in north Kashmir's Ganderbal area. Former Ganderbal police chief H.R. Parihar, his deputy Bahadur Ram, a head constable and two others have nee arrested for killing five people after framing them as foreign militants.


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