Normal life in Kashmir was affected today due to strike call by separatists against the killing of civilians in Sopore town of Baramulla district.
Shops, business establishments and schools remained closed due to the strike called jointly by JKLF, Hurriyat Conference factions led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani; and supported by almost all separatist groups in the Valley. Public transport was off the roads in most parts of the Valley but private vehicles could be seen plying in some parts of the summer capital of the state, officials said.
The attendance in government offices was thin due to the non-availability of transport services, they added. The work in courts was also affected as Kashmir High Court Bar Association has also joined the strike call. Militants have shot dead six persons, including separatist activists and former militants, in Sopore town over the past three weeks, leading to fear among the residents of the north Kashmir town.
Police has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for information leading to arrest of two militants believed to be behind the killings. The militants have been identified as Abdul Qayoom Najar and Imtiyaz Ahmad Kandoo, who are believed to have defied the command of Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin and operating under the shadow name of Lashkar-e-Islam outfit.
Najar alias Nazarwala, a resident of Sopore, is believed to have fallen out with Pakistan-based Salahuddin after the recent attacks on telecom towers which claimed two lives. According to intelligence reports, Nazarwala had prepared a list of people whom he claimed were allegedly helping security agencies and government machinery in curbing down the movement of the militant group.