Srinagar, Jan 23: Normal life was affected in Kashmir Valley on Friday due to a strike called by religious and separatist groups to protest against the publishing of "blasphemous" caricatures in French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Shops, business establishments, offices and petrol pumps were shut in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley while government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance, officials said. They said public transport was off the roads in the city and across the major towns in the Valley with only some private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws plying on a few routes.
Work in courts was also affected due to the strike. Mutahida Ulema-e-Ahlisunnat Waljamat, an amalgam of various religious organisations in the Valley, called for a strike to protest the publishing of the "blasphemous" caricatures by the magazine.
The strike call was also endorsed by hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who termed the recent reprinting of the sketches of the Prophet in France as "Jewish journalistic hooliganism" and asked people to hold protests against the act.
"Any act of dishonour against the Prophet of Islam (SAW) is unacceptable for every Muslim of the world and to raise voice against this act is the matter of faith for every Muslim," Geelani said in a statement yesterday.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Kashmir High Court Bar Association and Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) have also extended support to the strike call.