Kashmiri shopkeepers go on strike

Sat Jan 7, 2012 7:9AM GMT

Thousands of shopkeepers in Indian-controlled Kashmir have gone on a daylong general strike to protest the killing of a student by Indian security forces, Press TV reports.

The strike was in protest at the death of the student, Altaf Ahmad Sood, who was killed last Monday when Indian security forces opened fire on hundreds of residents protesting against mid-winter power cuts.

Ahmad Sood was killed and two other civilians were wounded during the protests in Boniyar village of Baramulla district, around 72 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Kashmir faces power cuts of up to 16 hours a day despite bitterly cold winter temperatures.

Authorities fearing clashes in the Srinagar city and other major towns have deployed paramilitary troops and policemen at sensitive places to prevent chaos.

Kashmir has witnessed three full-blown mass uprisings since 2008.

The recent killing of a youngster during the protest has raised a huge criticism regarding powers given to Indian security forces in Kashmir.

Kashmir has been a major cause of rift between India and Pakistan since the independence of both countries from British rule back in 1947.

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