Anniversary of leader's death shuts Kashmir

11 August 2009
The Dawn

SRINAGAR: Shops, schools and businesses were closed across much of occupied Kashmir on Tuesday as Kashmiri groups observed the first anniversary of a prominent leader's death. Sheikh Abdul Aziz of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an alliance of anti-India groups in Kashmir, was killed in a police firing in the disputed Himalayan region on Aug 11 last year while leading a protest march towards Azad Kashmir. Traffic was thin as public buses stayed off the roads of occupied Srinagar as government offices, schools and colleges were closed for the day. Thousands of paramilitary troops and police patrolled. Last summer Kashmir witnessed some of the biggest public protests against Indian rule in decades and more than 50 people were killed as Indian authorities crushed the uprising. Militant groups have been fighting since 1989 to end Indian rule in the region. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict. AP