Indian Kashmir City Shut Down To Protest Swat Attacks

8 May 2009

Jammu: Hundreds of people shouting anti-Taliban slogans shut down shops on Friday in Jammu, Indian Kashmir's winter capital that lies near the Pakistan border, to protest attacks on the Sikh community in Swat Valley. Schools were closed and buses were taken off the roads as a day-long strike called by dozens of Sikh and Hindu groups demanding protection of Sikhs from Taliban fighters took hold. Angry protesters stopped cars and set fire to tyres on highways, bringing traffic to a complete halt, police said. Thousands of people, including many from the minority Sikh community, have fled Pakistan's Swat valley, as government troops battle Taliban fighters after a February peace pact to end violence in the valley collapsed. Indian Sikhs say the government in Pakistan was doing little to protect the lives of Sikhs. 'We express our deep anguish over the inhuman actions of Taliban against the hapless people,' Kirpal Singh, a Sikh leader, said.