Shrine fire: Shutdown disrupts life in Kashmir

Separatist groups in Srinagar have called for a general strike on Tuesday a day after a massive fire gutted the historic 11th century Peer Dastgeer Sahib shrine.

Updated: Jun 26, 2012, 12:12 PM IST

Srinagar: Life across Kashmir was disrupted Tuesday due to a strike called by separatists over gutting of the 200-year-old Dastageer Sahib shrine in Khanyar area of the city.

Schools, colleges, offices, shops and other commercial establishments were closed due to the strike called by almost all separatist groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF.

Public transport was off the roads across the Valley while few private vehicles could be seen on roads. Attendance in government offices was thin as employees could not make it to their duty places due to lack of transport facilities.

Work in courts was also affected as Kashmir High Court Bar Association, the representative body of lawyers, has also called for a one-day strike.
The separatist called for the one-day strike over the destruction of Dastageer Sahib shrine in a fire yesterday. They also demanded an impartial probe into the incident.

The state government has ordered a probe by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, into the incident and also announced that the shrine will be reconstructed as per the old design.

The old city area witnessed violent protests yesterday after the blaze gutted the shrine and adjacent mosque. More than 50 persons including a dozen policemen were injured in the clashes.

Official sources said concertina wires have been used at many places to prevent people from pouring on the streets.

Additional policemen and CRPF personnel have been deployed in the old city and other vulnerable areas of the city like Maisuma to maintain law and order, the sources said.

Though eye witnesses said restrictions have been imposed on the movement of people, a police spokesman said there were no restrictions anywhere in the Valley but additional forces have been deployed to maintain law and order.