Protest shutdown affects life across Valley

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Srinagar, Feb 9 (IANS) Normal life was affected across the Kashmir Valley on Friday during a shutdown called by separatists to mark the fifth anniversary of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Markets, public transport and businesses remained shut in Srinagar and all other major towns in the Valley. Few private vehicles plied on the roads.

Due to non-availability of public transport, attendance in banks and government offices was thin.

The separatists called for a shutdown to denounce Afzal Guru’ s hanging in Delhi’s Tihar Jail and to reiterate the demand for the return of his mortal remains to the family.

Afzal was hanged on February 9, 2013 for his role in the 2001 Parliament attack. He was buried inside the jail premises.

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Police said they imposed restrictions in old city areas of Srinagar, the uptown area of Maisuma and in some north and south Kashmir areas.

Senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq continue to remain under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in the Central Jail.

The Pakistan-based United Jihad Council headed by Syed Sallauddin backed the protest call.

Police and paramilitary personnel in riot gear were deployed in all areas.

Train services between north Kashmir’s Baramulla town and Bannihal town in the Jammu region were suspended as a precaution.

–IANS

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