• General strike brings Kashmir to a standstill in protest over fire that gutted 200-year-old Muslim shrine
  • Schools, shops and public transport shut down in Indian-controlled region
  • Separatists furious at ‘slow response’ of firefighters to blaze at holy building
  • At least 30 protesters and 10 police injured as thousands riot in the streets
  • Demonstrators call for independent inquiry after rejecting government probe
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An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard on a deserted market during a curfew imposed in the area in Srinagar, following violence triggered by a fire that gutted the 200 year old heritage Sufi shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani  RA June 26, 2012-AP

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India Kashmir-An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard on a deserted market during a curfew imposed in the area in Srinagar, India, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. A fire destroyed a revered Muslim shrine in Indian-administered Kashmir on Monday, prompting anti-government protests by residents angered over an alleged slow response by firefighters.

Srinagar 26 June 2012,Daily mail reports from Srinagar :Separatist groups were staging a general strike across Indian-administered Kashmir today in protest over a fire which gutted a revered Muslim shrine.
At least 30 protesters and 10 policemen were injured in riots by residents angered over what they said was a slow response by firefighters to the blaze.
The cause of the fire at the 200-year-old shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani RA in the heart of Srinagar city was not immediately known.
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Srinagar: Normal life across Kashmir was disrupted on Tuesday due to a strike called by various hurriyat organizations and MMU over gutting of Dastageer Sahib Shrine in a devastating fire incident at Khanyar area of Srinagar city and restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Reports reaching GNS said that a complete mourning shutdown was observed in Kashmir Valley over the gutting of shrine in a fire incident. Educational institutions wore a deserted look as students and teaching staff stayed away in protest against the fire incident.

Work in government offices, banks and other institutions was also badly affected as employees could not make it to their respective offices in the absence of transport facilities.

Only a few roadside vendors were seen selling vegetables and fruits.

A report from Baramulla said life was paralysed in this and other north Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters with all shops and business establishments remaining closed and traffic remaining off the roads. Government offices, educational institutions and banks were also affected due to the strike.

Business and other activities remained shut and traffic was off the roads in this and other south Kashmir towns, a report from Anantnag said.

Work in government offices, financial institutions and educational institutions were also paralyzed.

Reports from other district headquarters indicated the shutdown adversely affected life there as well.

Public transport was off the roads across the Valley while few private vehicles could be seen on roads.

Work in courts was also affected as Kashmir High Court Bar Association, the representative body of lawyers, has also called for a one-day strike.

Undeclared curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the old city areas of Srinagar today following tension in the city over the gutting of the revered shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in the Khanyar area.

Police and paramilitary CRPF men have been deployed in large numbers across the city to thwart protests.

Although no official announcement to this effect was made, police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed in riot control gear disallowed pedestrian and vehicular movement in old city areas falling under the Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, S.R. Gunj and Safakadal police stations.

The imposed restrictions were not enforced very strictly in uptown areas of the city although a heavy presence of security forces has been maintained to prevent any untoward incident.

Both, the factions of hurriyat conference have called for a Kashmir-wide shutdown Tuesday.

However, vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims were being allowed freely to and from base camp Nunwan Pahalgam.(GNS)

with inputs from daily mail and GNS

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