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Kashmir valley shuts down to protest Kalam's visit
July 28, 2006 11:56 IST
Life in Kashmir Valley has been crippled due to a two-day general strike call given by the breakaway Hurriyat Conference in protest against the visit of President A P J Abdul Kalam to Kashmir valley and Ladakh starting today.
Shops and business establishments are closed and traffic is off the roads.
Government offices, banks and other financial institutions remained closed because of the strike called by the HC and supported by a number of other separatist and militant organisations.
''We call for a strike against your visit since you are the supreme commander of the Indian security forces who are commiting human rights violations in the valley,'' HC chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said, but added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have nothing personal against the President.
Educational instutitons wore a deserted look as the management of most schools declared a two-day holiday for security reasons.
The Kashmir University and the State Board of School Education have also cancelled their examinations scheduled for today and tomorrow because of the general strike.
A report from Baramulla said a complete shutdown was observed in all major towns in north Kashmir in support of the strike call.
Similar reports were also received from other major towns in the valley.
President Kalam, during his two-day visit, is scheduled to address a joint session of the Jammu and Kashmir legislature at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex on the bank of the famed Dal Lake in the afternoon, as the legislative assembly hall could not accommodate all the members from both the sides, besides other guests.
He will become the second PresidenT to address a joint session here, after Neelam Sajeeva Reddy.
He will also attend a function to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Jammu and Kashmir high court tomorrow.
At Leh, Dr Kalam is scheduled to attend a function and also address the audience at the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre and Degree college.
Dr Kalam had visited all the three regions in the state -- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh -- in June 2003.
He also visited the border areas following the devastating earthquake on October 8 last year.