M A I N   N E W S

Strike hits life in Kashmir
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 1
Normal life was disrupted across the Valley today during a strike in response to a separatists’ call to mourn the death of 19 schoolchildren and three staff members in the boat tragedy near Watlab in Wular Lake on Tuesday.

All shops and business establishments were closed and there was thin attendance in government offices. Educational institutions also remained closed while traffic on the roads was bare minimum.

The bandh call was given by both factions of the Hurriyat Conference — JKLF and United Jehad Council — and traders’ bodies. Apart from mourning the death of the schoolchildren the bandh was in protest against the firing at demonstrators near Watlab in which at least two persons were killed and several injured on Wednesday.

According to reports from Handwara, the town observed a complete shutdown for the second consecutive day today. Protest demonstrations were also taken out in the town demanding action against those responsible for the tragedy. The nearby towns of Sopore, Baramula, Kupwara and Bandipore also observed a complete bandh.

Meanwhile, police sources said both persons killed in the firing by security forces at Watlab were civilians. They were identified as Firdous Ahmad Sofi from Malmattipora, Hathlangoo and Jehangir Mir from Watlab. Earlier, the security forces had claimed that a militant and a civilian were killed in the retaliatory fire when a mob of over 500 persons, carrying lathis, marched towards the security picket.


Army announces ex gratia

Srinagar, June 1
Senior Army officials yesterday visited the site of Wular Lake where 19 schoolchildren drowned. Lieut-Gen Deepak Kapoor, Army Commander, Northern Command, announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 50,000 to each of the bereaved families amounting to Rs 11 lakh. — TNS


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