Separatist strike affects life in Kashmir


Srinagar : Life in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital and other major towns of the valley was severely affected for the second day Wednesday due to a shutdown called by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and the on-going pen-down strike of the state government employees..

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Shops, public transport and other businesses remained closed in Srinagar and the attendance in government offices was thin. The state government employees have already been on the three-day pen-down strike.

The employees are demanding payment of arrears in accordance with the recommendations of the sixth Pay Commission, regularisation of daily wagers and raising their retirement age from the existing 58 to 60 years.

Private transport, however, moved normally in uptown areas of Srinagar city. Some private schools also functioned normally.

Geelani has been placed under house arrest by the police in his uptown Hyderpora residence.

“It is to ensure he does not stoke trouble through his inflammatory speeches,” a police officer said.

Police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been posted in sufficient strength to maintain law and order in the capital city and other major towns of the valley.

Geelani has called for the strike to mount pressure on the government to release arrested youth and political prisoners.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s announcement that 1,200 arrested youth would be released before the Eid festival which was Aug 31, has been described as a mere eyewash by Geelani.