Special Correspondent

SHOPIAN: Normality is slowly returning to Shopian, following the arrest, on court orders, of four police officers in connection with the alleged rape and murder of two women. The town witnessed violence during the last 47 days over the incident.

Majlis suspends stir

Consequent to the arrests, the Majlis-e-Mushawarat, which has been leading the strike since May 31, met and decided to suspend the protest. “We have purely suspended the strike on the appeal of the honourable Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court till July 23 when the case comes up for hearing again,” Majlis spokesman Mohammad Shafi told The Hindu. “We reserve the right to resume the strike and will keep an eye on the progress of the case.”

However, he said, the Majlis was satisfied with the headway which was possible only after Chief Justice Barin Ghosh intervened. “We are thankful to Justice Ghosh and Justice Mir who forced the government to move in the case.”

On Thursday, offices, banks and educational institutions reopened. But attendance in educational institutions was thin. “It is because the [Majlis] decision came late and people are not aware as yet,” said the principal of a private institute.

People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti expressed the hope that the court’s intervention would bring the perpetrators to justice.

Hailing the people of Shopian for pursuing the case with determination, Ms. Mufti said that in the process they underwent hardship for 50 days. The trading community incurred huge losses while the students lost valuable academic time, she said.

Businesses hit

“Normally 10-15 truckloads of cherries would go out from Shopian from April to June but the whole business came to a halt,” said Manzoor Ahmad, a trader.

Shopkeepers were seen cleaning their premises and removing perishable items. “We did face a huge loss but it was small compared to the struggle for restoring the honour and dignity of our women,” said Muntazir Hussain, a shopkeeper.

Related stories:
  • Shopian: 4 police officials arrested
  • Jan Commission report casts no light on Shopian deaths
  • Media misrepresented key facts on Shopian rape-murder
  • Justice Jan Commission of Enquiry on the Shopian deaths - Full text
  • High Court orders fresh autopsy on Shopian women
  • Welcome development, says Omar Abdullah
  • Shopian officials sacked for lapses
  • Despite judicial probe, truth on Shopian deaths elusive
  • Forensic report confirms Shopian women were raped
  • Strike in Kashmir enters seventh day
  • Protests continue in Kashmir
  • More In: Today's Paper