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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Gaza crisis keeps govt on tenterhooks in Valley; shutdown, protests mar life

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times   Srinagar, July 17, 2014
First Published: 18:48 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 18:50 IST(17/7/2014)

The government is keeping a close eye on growing street protests in the valley over Gaza situation and deployed additional troops on Thursday as separatists backed shutdown brought the normal life to a standstill and sparked more protests. The Israel has asked its citizens to avoid visiting the state.

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The police and civil administration are working closely together to ensure protests remain peaceful and no provocation results into any casualty. Government sources said there has been increase in the number of protests in the past two days as death toll in Israel's aerial attack on Gaza crossed 200.

Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani's strike call completely paralysed life in the valley with most shops, offices and businesses centre remaining shut on Thursday. People carried out protest rallies and held demonstration in north and south Kashmir.

In north Kashmir's Palhalan area, one protester was injured when security forces fired pellets and burst smoke shells to quell protesters.
 
In south Kashmir, there were incidents of stone pelting in parts of Anantnag and Pulwama districts.
 
There was heightened presence of security personnel in Srinagar in the wake of separatists shutdown call.
 
The growing protests have already impacted tourism with the government suspecting fresh advisory being issued by Israel to its nationals. "Though there is no official communication, but I was informed about the development," said Tourism director Talat Parvez

Meanwhile, Geelani has called for more protests tomorrow after Friday prayers. The government is increasing security presence in all sensitive locations tomorrow.

"We want to convey to the world that we also feel the pain of the people of Gaza whose children are mercilessly killed by the Zionists," said Geelani.

He added, "If we were having any power and weapon, we would have reached Palestine to help our brethren there, but our freedom too has been snatched."

Geelani described the anti-Israeli protests carried out by ruling National Conference and other mainstream parties as "hoax". "It is their vote bank politics keeping an eye on the upcoming assembly elections," he alleged.

Both ruling NC, opposite Peoples Democratic Party and BJP have carried out protests in Srinagar against Israel.

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