Kashmir protest call gets lukewarm response

Kashmir protest call gets lukewarm response

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has issued another protest calendar which, however, calls for only three days of shutdown during the next 12 days.

"No curfew or restrictions have been imposed anywhere in the Valley today as the situation continues returning to normal here", a senior police officer said here.Educational institutions, private transport, government offices and pavement sellers continued functioning in summer capital Srinagar, but shops, other major businesses and public transport remained shut here.

Reports from other towns of the Valley indicated a partial response to the 'civil curfew' call given by separatists to coincide with Obama's four-day visit to India ending Tuesday.
Despite separatists trying to raise the pitch of shutdowns and protests during the US president's visit to the country, the overall situation in the Valley has been improving for the last one month after the worst phase of violence here since June 11 in which 110 people lost their lives in clashes between the security forces and protesters.

Significantly, the protest call given by the separatists had a not-so-enthusiastic public response in contrast to apprehensions that violence could increase across Jammu and Kashmir during Obama's visit to India.

In March 2008, when then US president Bill Clinton visited India, 35 Sikh villagers were killed by unidentified gunmen in south Kashmir's Chattisinghpora village.

“High alert will remain in force across the state till the visit of the US president ends,” said a senior intelligence officer here.

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