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Normal life affected in Kashmir due to strike

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Roads leading to Jama Masjid in Nowhatta area of Srinagar were blocked today to prevent people from congregating at the grand mosque for Friday prayers. Pic/Javed Khan

Srinagar, May 17: Normal life was affected in Kashmir Friday due to a strike called by separatists to protest the killing of a civilian following an encounter between militants and security forces in Pulwama district.

Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments remained shut in Srinagar even as roadside vendors went about their business As usual, particularly in the uptown Civil Lines areas including Batamaloo, Hari Singh High Street, Maharaja bazaar, and adjoining areas.

Public transport was off the roads, but a few private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some areas of the city.

The authorities had ordered closure of schools and colleges in Srinagar as a precautionary measure in view of the strike.

Similar reports of shutdown were received from other district headquarters of the Valley.

Train service was also suspended on Friday for security reasons in the Valley.

An official said that the train service has been suspended following an advisory received on Thursday night by the police.

He said no train chugged on Budgam-Srinagar-Ananatnag-Qazigund in south Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu region, and on Srinagar-Budgam and Baramulla in north Kashmir.

The separatists -- under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) -- on Thursday asked people to observe a shutdown on Friday against civilian killings during the month of Ramazan.

The civilian, Rayees Dar, was killed on Thursday after an encounter between militants and security forces in Pulwama district of the state.

Six militants were also killed in encounters with security forces in Shopian and Pulwama districts on Thursday. Two soldiers also lost their lives in these encounters.

A youth, who had sustained grievous injuries in clashes during protests at Pattan in Baramulla district against the rape of a three-year-old girl in Bandipore, also died at SKIMS hospital here Wednesday night.

Friday prayers not allowed at Jama Masjid

Srinagar, May 17: Authorities on Friday did not allow the weekly congregational prayers at the historic Jama Masjid in Srinagar.

Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned it and termed locking down of the Jama Masjid as “hurting the sentiments of the people”.

“In the holy month of Ramadan also, the biggest mosque of valley is locked down and put under seige. Thousands of Muslims are denied the right to pray there. Such measures reflect the rulers utter disdain for people’s religious rights or hurting their sentiments which is very sad. (sic),” Mirwaiz said in a tweet.

The authorities had locked down the Jama Masjid and also imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city in view of shutdown called by the separatist leadership against the recent killings.

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