Strike in Kashmir over 'plight of detainees'

Shops and schools were closed in Kashmir after resistance fighters called a strike to protest inhumane treatment of Kashmiris in Indian jails.

Strike in Kashmir over 'plight of detainees'

Shops and most schools were closed in Indian Kashmir's main city on Saturday after resistance fighters called a strike to protest what they called inhumane treatment of Kashmiris in Indian jails.

Streets in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, were almost deserted during the strike called by resistance leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, witnesses said.

At least four people were injured when police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of stone throwing protesters in downtown Srinagar, witnesses said.

SHUTDOWN SUPPORTED BY THE UNITED JIHAD COUNCIL

The shutdown was supported by the United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-based alliance of Kashmiri militant groups and a lawyers association.

"Kashmiri youth held in jails within and outside the state were being ill-treated, because of which the lives of scores of them were in danger," Geelani said in a statement. "We strongly protest against inhuman treatment of detainees."

Schools and colleges are usually open on Saturdays.

THOUSANDS OF KASHMIRIS ARE IN JAILS

Separatist say thousands of Kashmiris are languishing in jails across India, but authorities, who deny allegations of inhuman treatment of detainees, put the figure at just over 500.

For almost 20-year-long resistance Indian forces killed more than 43,000 people. Human rights groups put the toll at about 60,000 dead or missing.

Agencies
Last Mod: 06 Nisan 2008, 11:22
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