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Muslim areas in India-controlled Kashmir observe shutdown over 2 women's death
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20:41, June 01, 2009

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A complete shutdown was observed in the Muslim majority areas of India-controlled Kashmir on Monday to protest the death of two women.

At least 60 people have been injured in clashes with police across the various towns since Saturday when protests broke out following the discovery of the bodies of the two women near a river.

All the major towns and district headquarters including the region's summer capital Srinagar closed down in response to the call given by hard-line separatist leader and Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The shops, government offices, schools, banks and business establishments remained closed while traffic stayed away from the roads for the entire day.

Authorities had deployed security in all the major towns to hamper protest demonstrations.

In Srinagar city the protesters resorted to stone pelting after police and paramilitary troopers fired tear smoke canisters to disperse the protesters.

The people in Shopian town, where the women were found dead, protested for the third consecutive day on Monday by defying restrictions and clashing with the police.

"The policemen and paramilitary troopers forcibly entered several houses and broke windowpanes besides ransacking belongings. They have roughed up many people and inflicted injuries on dozens of people. It's total confusion over here," said Abdul Gani, a villager in a telephonic interview to Xinhua from Shopian.

"We are demanding the identification of killers involved in the killing of two women and they are intimidating us. They haven't even spared our womenfolk who were protesting peacefully," Gani added.

Locals allege that the two women were first raped and then killed. They suspect the involvement of Indian troopers in the incident.

The government earlier maintained that the tow women died due to drowning.

The post-mortem report of the bodies conducted by government doctors is yet to be made public.

Source: Xinhua

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