Bandipora Strike Hits Normal Life For 4th Day

11 May 2014
Kashmir Times

Srinagar: Normal life continued to remain paralysed for the fourth consecutive day today in Bandipora in view of a general strike against the arrest of youth. However, the people in Baramulla have called off their strike and decided to resume their normal work from tomorrow. Security forces and police were deployed in strength at Bandipora to deal with the situation. A procession was taken out in support of the demand for the release of arrested youth. After the procession, the traders announced to continue with the strike till all the arrested youth are not released. Even as the life continued to remain affected in Baramulla also, but the traders decided to call off the strike and resume their normal work from tomorrow. This followed release of some youth by the administration today. The traders had yesterday threatened to go for an indefinite strike yesterday as the talks between them and the government had failed to break the ice. However, the government officials re-established the contact with the local people and agreed to release the arrested youth. Following the release, the strike was called off. Other assurances were also given by the officials regarding the alleged atrocities by security forces in the area. It may be recalled here that Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), had appealed people in Kashmir not to observe general strike against the arrest of youth till May 13. He has given an ultimatum till May 13 to the government to release the youth. Geelani threatened a protest programme if they were not set free till May 13. Following the threat, the authorities are in touch with traders in the strike affected areas to end the shutdowns. Tariq Mugloo general secretary Baramulla Traders Federation (BTF) said the has been called off after the district administration released 15 youth and gave assurance that genuine demands including compensation of damages suffered by various households during police raids would be fulfilled without any delay. 'First we held a general meeting with our traders' fraternities who had come from across the valley. The participants included Traders Federation Srinagar, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Contractors Association of Kashmir, Transporters coordination Committee Kashmir and Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association,' he said. Mugloo added that the meeting urged the administration to release all innocent youth who have been detained across valley particularly for the last few weeks in Bandipora, Sopore, Shopian, Srinagar and other places of valley. He added that the traders' fraternities who participated in the meeting took stock of the situation, met victim families in old town Baramulla and addressed public gathering in stadium colony and Kakarhamam in old town. 'The traders' bodies pledged full support to us in our fight against injustice. The BTF has also strongly condemned thrashing of voters in Baramulla, Sopore and its adjoining areas. Pertinently, the Baramulla Traders were up in arms against the alleged excesses and arrest spree during nocturnal raids in which scores of civilians were allegedly thrashed in the town. However, the police had clarified that no unlawful demands would be fulfilled. While refuting the claims made by BTF that 15 youth were released by police in last two days before they called off their strike, the IGP Kashmir A G Mir on Sunday said only three 'miscreants' were released. 'Making claims that 15 miscreants were released is absolutely wrong. We have released just three of them after they got orders from court,' he said.