Court's awarding of life sentence to convicts sparks off JKLF protests in Srinagar
Activists of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) took to the streets here on Monday to protest against a court's verdict of awarding life sentence to prisoners.
Condemning the life sentences awarded to several convicts, the JKLF also called for a shutdown in the city.
JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik protested against the judgment of the court awarding life sentences to two of his party's activists -- Showkat Ahmed and Nazir Ahmed Sheikh, who were arrested in 1990 and had spent nearly 15 years in jail without trial.
Recently both of them were arrested again, after they were released seven years ago.
The legislator from India's Jammu and Kashmir state, Engineer Rashid said that the protest was to draw the attention of the provincial government towards the authoritarianism prevailing in the province.
"On the occasion of Human Rights Day we want to draw the attention of the government towards the authoritarianism prevailing in the province. The way they have awarded life sentence to two Kashmiris and Qasim (Mohammad Qasim Faktoo) and they have also cancelled detention orders under PSA against Masrat Alam Bhat. The people who are commuting atrocities are roaming without fear. You can see the poor state of the government machinery," he said.
All shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices would remain close 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 Para Military forces at vital places across the city.
In November, the High Court also awarded life imprisonment to the Chairman of the Muslim League, Mohammad Qasim Faktoo.
Kashmir, the trigger for two of the three wars between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both countries but ruled by them only in part.
A tentative peace process is under way and ties between Islamabad and New Delhi are at their warmest in years, with recent high-level meetings.
Indian forces have been fighting a separatist revolt in Kashmir since 1989. The government says nearly 50,000 people have been killed but rights groups say the toll is higher.
More than 100 people have been killed in the protests, which broke out in June 2010 and were the biggest since an armed revolt against Indian rule erupted in 1989 in the majority Muslim region.
Over the past few months, the Kashmir valley has been in a siege-like state of strikes, protests and curfews. Shops have remained shut, along with most schools, and daily activities are subject to severe disruption.