Life in Kashmir hit by strike over Guru's hanging, tremor

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Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar, Feb 17: Even as the ongoing protest over Afzal Guru's hanging continued to affect normal life in Jammu and Kashmir, the people of the state had a fresh reason to worry on Sunday morning. A moderate intensity earthquake rocked the Kashmir Valley at 7.05 a.m.

According to officials, the tremor measured just 5.2 on Richter scale and did not cause major damage but most residents of the Kashmir Valley panicked due to it. So far there has been no report of anybody getting injured.

The tremor's epicentre was in Afghanistan, officials said. The exact latitude and longitude of the epicentre in the Hindukush mountains are: 36.5 degrees North and 71.7 degrees East.

Meanwhile, the strike called by the Hurriyat Conference against Guru's hanging entered the ninth day. Hardliners belonging to the Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led faction had initially given the call for a seven-day shutdown.

Though the curfew imposed by the authorities in this connection was lifted on Saturday, Geelani stressed that the strike will be extended since the body of the 2001 Parliament attack convict has not been returned to his family.

Guru's wife and other relatives had urged the Centre to allow them to perform his last rites. However, the government pointed out that they can well offer prayers at his grave in Tihar Jail.

Guru's wife Tabassum, his son Ghalib and two close relatives who were given the chance to offer "fathiah namaz" at the jail in Delhi spurned the offer. They stressed that their Tihar visit is contingent on the Centre giving permission to bring his body to Kashmir for burial.

Given this impasse, shops and businesses in the Valley have remained closed till date. There has been no public transport too as buses stayed off the roads ever since Feb 9 when Guru was hanged.

On Saturday, incidents of stone pelting were reported from some places. Jammu and Kashmir Police said that the Valley was comparatively calm on Sunday.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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