Srinagar: A moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference called for a shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday to protest against the Indian Army’s decision to close the Pathribal fake encounter case.

In 2006, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had indicted five Army personnel for staging a fake encounter while giving a clean chit to the state police. During the encounter on March 26, 2000, five people were killed in Pathribal in south Kashmir.

All shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices would remain shut and the public transport would also remain off from the roads.

In an attempt to avert any untoward situation, the authorities have deployed police and Paramilitary forces at vital places across the city.

A resident, Nazir Ahmad, said they had to face the brunt of the shutdown, as he had to walk miles to reach his destination.

“The shutdown has been called against the Pathribal fake encounter case. None of the vehicles are plying on the road. I am also coming from a distant place. Chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has called for the strike,” said Ahmad.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is at the heart of hostility between India and Pakistan and was the cause of two of their three full-scale wars.

The protests came after a period of relative calm in the region and were seen as the biggest challenge to Indian rule.

Over the past few months, the Kashmir valley has been in a siege-like state of strikes, protests and curfews.

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Free Press Journal