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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Kashmir bar association stages protest in the valley

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, July 18, 2013
First Published: 16:05 IST(18/7/2013) | Last Updated: 16:06 IST(18/7/2013)

Religious groups and separatists leaders have called for shutdown against the killing of protestors by BSF men in Ramban area in Jammu region.

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Seven people were killed after the Border Security Force fired at demonstrators protesting against the alleged sacrilege of the holy Quran in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban district.

Senior separatist leader and chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a three-day shutdown across Jammu and Kashmir. The other faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front have given call for one-day strike on Friday.

Meanwhile parts of  Srinagar observed a spontaneous shutdown protesting the killings. Shopkeeper brought down shutters in Kashmir's city centre Lal chowk after the news of the killings became viral.

Loudspeakers in Jama Masjid, Srinagars biggest mosques urged people to observe shutdown. The chairman of the Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who is also head priest of the valley also called for protest demonstrations after Friday prayers. Stone pelting was reported from  Maisuma area in civil lines which is a bastion of  moderate Yasin Malik.

Malik condemned the sacrilege and the killings as "one of the biggest crimes committed by terrorist forces of India in Kashmir". He asked people to converge at Lalchowk (the main city centre in Srinagar) for a protest rally.

Locals in the area alleged that security force personnel stormed into a Madrassah late Wednesday night where they beat up the cleric and tore pages of the holy Quran. This sparked off protest demonstrations at a number of places in the district. There has been no official word about the incident or the casualties from the government so far.

The BSF authorities were not immediately available for comment. Even the state chief minister Omar Abdullah did not issue any statement on the matter so far.


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