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Maulana's killing: Shutdown cripples Valley

April 09, 2011 19:15 IST

Life was paralyzed in Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar and some other towns on Saturday in protest against the killing of a top Muslim cleric on Friday in a powerful blast.

The call for Saturday's shutdown had been issued by the moderate and the hard-line groups of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front president Yasin Malik.

Shops, businesses and public transport were shut in capital Srinagar while skeletal private transport was seen plying on the city roads.

Most of the government and private schools were also shut in Srinagar while attendance in government offices and banks was thin.

Authorities deployed additional police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force troops in Srinagar to maintain law and order.

Reports from some other towns said Saturday's strike affected normal life there as well.

Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah, president of Jamiat Ahlehadees was killed in a powerful improvised explosive device blast outside a mosque in the Maisuma locality of Srinagar on Friday.

The IED tied to a bicycle went off as the Maulana was entering the mosque to deliver sermons and offer Friday prayers.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah flew to capital Srinagar and visited the family of the slain Maulana in downtown Lal Bazzar.

Omar stayed at the house of the slain Maulana for sometime and consoled the family.

The killing of the Maulana has evoked sharp reaction with both the mainstream and separatists groups joining voices in condemning it.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar