Shopian town observed a complete shutdown on Saturday in response to a call by the Majlis-e-Mushawarat which spearheads the agitation against the rape-murder of two women on May 31.

Saturday’s strike, however, led to differences between the Majlis and the Hurriyat Conference. Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat leader had asked people to confine the shutdown to Shopian town.

The Majlis had called for a Kashmir bandh to protest against what it called the callousness of the government on the issue. But only Shopian town responded.

Majlis spokesman Mohammad Shafi Khan said the Hurriyat should not have gone against the Majlis call. “This means we are alone in this battle,” he said, adding that Shopian, henceforth, would not observe any strike on the call given by any separatist organisation.

Besides Shopian town, shops, business establishments, educational institutions, banks and offices remained closed in parts of Pulwama.

The call by the Majlis came immediately after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court granted bail to four police officers, including the former Superintendent of Police, JavedIqbal Mattoo. The court said there was no evidence against them in the rape-murder of the two women.

“We don’t have anything against the court judgment, but the government has shown callousness while handling this case and the investigation has been very careless… If the accused cops are not the culprits, then we want to know who really is. Everybody knows that the accused cops were involved in the cover-up and destruction of evidence,” Mr. Khan said.

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