Life hit as separatists protest Kalam's J&K visit | india | Hindustan Times
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Life hit as separatists protest Kalam's J&K visit

india Updated: Jul 28, 2006 14:51 IST

Streets were deserted while schools, shops and offices shut down across Kashmir and several towns on Friday as separatists ordered a strike to protest the arrival of President Kalam.

The strike was called by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who heads the hard-line faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Kashmir's main separatist alliance.

The strike was supported by the Hizbul Mujahedeen.

Many local lawyers held a protest march and announced a boycott of Kalam's speech at the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

"This is a ploy to show to the world that everything is normal here. But the situation is extremely bad. Hundreds of Kashmiris are in jails," said Mian Qayyum, president of the local bar association.

Police have stepped up security and erected additional checkpoints on Srinagar's roads. "Whenever there is a high profile visit, terrorists step up their attacks. So we are not taking any chances," said police officer Farooq Ahmed.