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Normal life affected in Kashmir due to strike against JKLF ban

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Srinagar, Mar 24: Normal life was affected in Kashmir Sunday due to a strike called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to protest against the ban on Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front led by Muhammad Yasin Malik, officials said.

Shops and business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads in most parts of the Valley due to the strike. However, the strike call evoked only partial response in some parts of the Valley as the weekly flea market, locally known as Sunday market, operated normally while the roadside vendors also went about their business as usual in many parts. Cabs and even minibus were also plying on certain routes.

JKLF is the second organisation in Jammu and Kashmir which has been banned this month. Earlier, the Centre had banned the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir.

The Yasin Malik-led JKLF was banned on Friday for “a series of violent acts and being in the forefront of separatist activities” in the militancy-hit state since 1988, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba had said.

Separatists Saturday called for a strike against the Centre's decision to ban the JKLF, saying it was "undemocratic" and "political vendetta".

"The Government of India's decision of banning the JKLF for five years is  highly authoritarian, autocratic and pure political vendetta," the JRL said in a statement.

"The way the Government of India is announcing bans and crackdowns on the organizations associated with the Kashmir struggle, arresting the leadership and slapping them with draconian PSA, killing youth in custody .... exposes their hollow claims of democracy," it added.

The JRL said by imposing ban on organisations and booking separatist leaders in "fake" cases , the government "cannot change the reality of the Kashmir issue".

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