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Life remains crippled as Kashmir shutdown extended till Aug 18 

Srinagar, Aug 11 (IANS) Normal life remained crippled in the Kashmir Valley for the 34th day in a row on Thursday and is expected to remain the same for at least a week again after separatists extended their dawn-to-dusk shutdown call till August 18.

In a joint statement, the separatist leaders — Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yaseen Malik — asked people to open their businesses from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on all these days except for August 15 when there will be complete 24-hour shutdown.

They have also called for protest marches during these days. Authorities are likely to impose curfew and restrictions to foil these marches, the way they did on Thursday.

The separatists had asked people to march to “martyrs” graveyad in Eidgah of Srinagar. But all roads leading to the sprawling prayer ground in the heart of the volatile Downtown city were sealed and people in and around the area were not allowed to move out.

Dozens of sympathizers of separatists were detained as they tried to defy curfew and march towards the Eidgah.

Geelani and Umar Farooq, under house arrest since July 9, tried to defy restrictions. They were briefly detained at police stations near their residences.

A police spokesperson said here that the situation in the valley remained normal barring few stone-throwing incidents at some places.

“Miscreants pelted stones on security forces in (south Kashmir). They were chased away by using mild force,” the spokesperson said.

“In Srinagar, a group of miscreants pelted stones on security force deployments near Kakasarai. They were also chased away.”

There were no reports of any fresh injuries.

The Kashmir Valley has been on the boil for the past 34 days following the July 8 killing of popular rebel commander Burhan Wani. Some 56 people, including teenagers, have been killed and thousands injured in the weeks of street demonstrations and clashes between security forces and protesters.

Most parts of the valley have been wrapped in strict curfew in what authorities say is a preventive measure to avoid law and order from slipping out of control.

Educational institutes, shops, businesses, private and most government offices have remained shut in the last 34 days of unending turmoil.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for an all-party meeting in Delhi on Friday to seek consultations on how to defuse the Kashmir tensions.


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