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Kashmir strike to protest against death penalty

23 April 10 10:15 GMT

A strike in Indian-administered Kashmir has been called after the death penalty was awarded to two Kashmiris for their role in a 1996 blast at a Delhi market.

Shops in most parts of Kashmir Valley are closed and traffic is suspended. An undeclared curfew has been imposed in parts of Srinagar to prevent protests.

On Thursday, a Delhi court sentenced six people convicted of the blast. Three were given the death penalty.

The 1996 blast in the Lajpat Nagar area killed 13 people and wounded 38 others.

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says many ordinary Kashmiris, in addition to separatist leaders, believe the two men may have been falsely implicated.

"Every Kashmiri is treated as a militant and the courts are eager to hang them," a shopkeeper in Srinagar told the BBC.

The shutdown has been called by the Hurriyat Conference, a separatist political alliance in Kashmir.

The president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Mian Abdul Qayoom, said the accused were not given a fair trial.

Six members of a militant group operating in Kashmir were found guilty by the court earlier this month.

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