Strike against PM visit hits life in Kashmir

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kashmirSrinagar, June 25:Normal life was disrupted in Kashmir Valley due to a strike called by separatists to protest against the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

Separatists groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have called for a general strike.

Shops, business establishments, educational institutions, banks and private offices remained closed due to the strike.

The effect of the strike was accentuated by a heavy security deployment in view of the VVIP visit and Monday’s militant attack.

The security measures have been heightened in the wake of the deadly strike by militants that left eight soldiers dead and several others injured.

Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel have been deployed in numbers across the city while in some places army is also conducting foot patrols to prevent the militants from carrying out any further attacks during the high profile visit.

The security forces have erected barriers after every km to check the antecedents of people and to regulate the movement of the vehicles.

Chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked the people to observe a complete strike to remind the centre and the world that Kashmir is a “dispute pending a resolution”.

Moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq also called for a general strike alleging that the Centre is treating Kashmir as an economic issue rather than a political one.

“The people of Kashmir are being compelled to take route of protests and strikes as Indian leadership, instead of addressing Kashmir politically, is trying to look at the issue through the prism of economic packages which is unwise and negative politics,” Mirwaiz said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front headed by Yasin Malik, while calling for the strike, said the Prime Minister has “failed” in his peace process which proved only an “illusion”.

Dr Singh said that J&K was drawing 1664 MW from the Northern Grid which did not suffice the needs of the state.

“I announce an additional 150 MW for the state to meet its power requirements. I also hope that other projects like Uri II project in Baramulla will be completed soon and the state will receive power from it,” he said.

Dr Singh said a transmission line costing Rs 1629 crore between Srinagar and Leh is being laid, which will meet the electricity needs of people in Ladakh region throughout year.

The Prime Minister said the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has taken five ITIs and plans to take two more for imparting training to the youth for working in power projects.

He said the Power Grid Corporation will also set up a training institute at Kangan in Ganderbal district.

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