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Shujaat Bukhari, The Hindu / SRINAGAR, August 2, 2011.
Jammu and Kashmir police arrest Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti during a protest demanding permission to visit Sopore, in Srinagar on Sunday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad.
Sopore and Baramulla towns observed a spontaneous shutdown on Monday even as Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reiterated that exemplary punishment would be given to those who were responsible for the custodial death of Nazim Rashid (28).
Meanwhile, People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti was again prevented from going to Sopore and formally put under detention at her residence here. Independent MLA Sheikh Abdur Rashid was also detained when he tried to visit the victim's family.
Reports from north Kashmir said shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the road in Sopore and Baramulla. Work in government offices, banks and educational institutions was affected. Hundreds of police and CRPF personnel were deployed to prevent people from taking to the streets. Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has called a general strike in the Valley for Wednesday to protest against the “custodial killing.” The Chief Minister told journalists: “Action has to be taken against whosoever has committed the crime. We have initiated steps to know the circumstances that led to the death of the youth [on Saturday night].”
Nazim had been taken into custody in Sopore in connection with the death the recent killing of Mohammad Ashraf Dar.
The Chief Minister dismissed apprehensions that the guilty would be protected or the facts covered up. “A case has been registered against the persons involved under Section 302 (murder). We will ensure that punishment to the guilty is an example so that nobody dares commit such an act in future.”
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