Curfew In Srinagar, Geelani Arrested

3 June 2009
The Times of India

Srinagar: Chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah eelani was arrested from his residence here on Wednesday, in the midst of an agitation over the death of two women in Kashmir Valley. Geelani, 79, who had called for strike and protests after bodies of two women were found on Saturday in Shopian, was arrested by police minutes before he was scheduled to address a press conference at his Hyderpora residence on Srinagar-Airport road at 4 pm. The separatist leader was under house arrest since April 12. A curfew was imposed in Srinagar on Wednesday, as protests continued for the third consecutive day over the alleged rape and killing of two women by security forces. The protesters burnt effigies of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, who has ordered a judicial inquiry into the deaths. Streets remained deserted, shops and businesses shut, as the strike called by separatists crippled activity. Security personnel patrolled the roads, as movement was restricted in the city. The strike called by the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, also closed schools, colleges and many government offices in Kashmir. The shutdown strike left the residents harried and troubled. Life was at a standstill as many were forced to remain indoors. 'We are facing a lot of problems. We are not allowed to go anywhere. Life has come to a standstill. There are many difficulties,' said Nisar Ahmed, a resident. Residents alleged the two women, aged 17 and 22, were abducted, raped and killed by security forces in Shopian, 60 km from Srinagar. The authorities denied that the women had been drowned in a stream. A police statement said the post-mortem revealed no marks of violence.