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    J&K: Strike called against death of a protester in CRPF firing

    Mar 14, 2013 07:46 AM IST India India

    Srinagar: A day after the first fidayeen attack in three years, a strike has been called in Srinagar after the death of a protester in a separate incident in the Valley. The State government has imposed a dawn-to-dusk curfew on Thursday after the youth was allegedly killed in the CRPF firing on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, resurgent Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack at a CRPF camp in Bemina. Union Home Secretary RK Singh on Wednesday had pointed to a Pakistan hand behind the attack that killed five CRPF personnel. The attack in Bemina came amidst protests raging on the streets over the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

    The suicide attack in Srinagar is a cause of big concern for the State government as it raises concerns whether we are entering another cycle of violence and terror in the Valley?

    The National Conference has termed killing of the civilian in the alleged CRPF firing at Zoonimar as cold blooded murder and has demanded a judicial probe. This is likely to strain the relationship of State government with the CRPF further.

    But there are many more reasons for the government to worry about the Bemina attack of Wednesday. It's the first fidayeen attack in the Valley in three years. The attack comes on the heels of the killing of CRPF jawans by terrorists in Handwara in March and a sarpanch shot dead in North Kashmir in February. There have also been reports of terrorists infiltrating the Line of Control. But most significantly it follows growing protests over the hanging of Afzal Guru and the Central governments decision not to return his body.

    The protests were re-ignited both on the streets and inside the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly - both over Guru as well as the Centre's refusal to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The pressure is telling the most on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who turned emotional in the House after the Opposition's criticism.

    Even as the Omar government battles protests over Guru in the state, he also faces fire over the repeal of AFSPA. Many fear, a rise in militancy at this point will further strain the government and shatter the relative peace of the last few years.