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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Strike halts life in Srinagar
People look helpless as all businesses were shut
A general strike has disrupted life in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian-administered Kashmir.


No other country would have tolerated anti-nationals like Geelani

Ashok Khajuria, BJP legislator in Kashmir

Business establishments were shut and educational institutes remained closed and there was little traffic on the roads.

The one-day strike was called by the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to protest against the arrest of Syed Shah Ali Geelani on Sunday.

A former chairman of APHC and senior separatist leader, Mr Geelani has been held under controversial anti-terrorism legislation passed by the Indian Parliament in March.

Popular leader

Mr Geelani is accused of receiving money from Pakistan to fund Kashmiri militant activities.

Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani
Geelani arrested under the anti terrorism law

The United Jihad Council (UJC), the main alliance of militant groups in Kashmir, has issued a statement of support for Mr Geelani, describing him as a popular leader amongst Kashmiri people.

In a recent interview to a leading newspaper in Srinagar, Mr Geelani appeared to suggest he was expecting arrest, as he opposes the state elections due in September.

Mr Geelani is quoted saying: "The Indian Government will resort to every cheap method to make the so-called election a success and try to befool the world community. And I am sure they will arrest me."

Strict action

The Kashmir chapter of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded action against those who "indulge in anti-India activities" in Kashmir.

"Geelani should have been arrested long ago," said Ashok Khajuria, a BJP legislator in Kashmir.

"No other country would have tolerated anti-nationals like Geelani", said Khajuria.

The strike came amid signs of easing tensions between India and Pakistan.

The two countries had been on the brink of a war over the disputed region of Kashmir.


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09 Jun 02 | South Asia
08 Jun 02 | South Asia
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