Srinagar, Dec 15 (IANS) Shops in some old city areas of Srinagar remained shut Thursday in protest against the murder of a local shopkeeper who was beaten by hooligans here Dec 3 when he refused to heed a separatists’ call for a shutdown.

Shops in Nowhatta area, where the deceased, the 25-year-old Tariq Ahmad Bhat, had a shop, as well as in the adjoining Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal and Hawal areas observed the shutdown.

Police said Bhat had refused to accept the shutdown dictates of the separatists and was hit by assailants on the head with a cricket bat.

Bhat battled for life in the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura for 14 days and finally succumbed to critical injuries Wednesday.

Hundreds attended the burial of the shopkeeper Wednesday evening with relatives and shopkeepers condemned the gruesome murder of the youth.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday condemned the shopkeeper’s murder and challenged the separatists to do genuine politics instead of resorting to force to have their shutdown calls enforced.

‘Acts like this will no longer be tolerated,’ he warned.

Police have already arrested four people for the murder.

No separatist leader has so far condemned the shopkeeper’s murder.

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