Srinagar, May 24 : Violent protest marred normal life in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday. The protesters, shouting slogans, voiced their demand of a free Kashmir. Shops and business establishments remained closed today following a shutdown call given by hardline faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). The APHC is protesting against President Pratibha Patil's five-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The protesters said that the visit of the Indian President is nothing but an effort of the government to dilute the Kashmir issue in the eyes of the international community.
"In fact the Indian government and Pratibha Patil are trying to dilute the Kashmir issue. We want to convey that till the issue of Kashmir remains unresolved there would be no peace and peace talk," said M.Shafi Reshi, separatist leader of the APHC.
The protesters clashed with the security personnel as they resorted to pelt bottles and stones.
The security men, while trying to drive away the protesters used tear gas.
According to media reports, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the Chairman of the APHC, had termed President Patil's visit a deep-rooted conspiracy to mislead the international community.