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Strike over shrine fire derails normal life in Kashmir

June 28, 2012 11:54 IST

Normal life across Kashmir remained disrupted for the fourth day on Thursday due to a strike called by the Grand Mufti of the state over the gutting of the 200-year-old Dastageer Sahib shrine in Khanyar area of the city.

Schools, colleges, offices, shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in response to the strike called by Grand Mufti Mohammad Bashiruddin Ahmad, who termed the destruction of the shrine as the "worst conspiracy".

Public transport kept off the roads in most parts of the Valley, while a few private vehicles could be seen plying some areas. Attendance in government offices was also thin.

As a preventive measure to maintain law and order, Srinagar District Magistrate Baseer Ahmad Khan has ordered imposition of restrictions on movement of people and transport in six police station areas of the old city.

The police station areas where curfew-like restrictions have been imposed include Khanyar, Maharaj Gunj, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal and Kralkhud.

The Grand Mufti has also called for a strike and a march to the gutted shrine on Friday.

While clashes erupted on Monday between protesters and police after the fire incident, the Valley observed a shutdown on Tuesday on a call given by separatist groups. A spontaneous bandh was observed yesterday as well.     The state government has ordered a probe into the incident and announced that the shrine would be reconstructed.

Additional policemen and CRPF personnel have been deployed in the old city and other vulnerable areas of the city like Maisuma to maintain law and order.

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