Faced with protests over the anti-Islam film that has caused unrest in much of the Islamic world,the US consulate here has shut down its visa section for two days starting from Monday.
The visa section will be closed for appointments on Monday and Tuesday. Persons with appointments are being notified for rescheduling dates. Emergency services will be offered to American citizens, an advisory posted on the consulates official website said.
The decision to close the visa section came as the anti-US protests in front of the consulate continued for the third day with another Muslim outfit planning to hold a demonstration on Tuesday.
A spokesperson of the consulate said the decision to close down the visa section for two days was taken on Sunday and all applicants who have already given appointments have been informed about the rescheduling. In no way will they be inconvenienced, the spokesperson said,adding that around 1,000 visa applicants visit the consulate every day.
Earlier,the consulate had issued a travel advisory,asking US nationals to exercise caution while moving around the city. Last Friday,Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam activists picketed at the consulate and pelted stones damaging window panes,prompting the city police to further beef up security at the heavily-guarded installation located on the arterial Anna Salai.
Another Muslim outfit staged a protest on Saturday,while Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi activists held a demonstration in front of the consulate on Monday against the US-made film.
Geelani calls for shutdown today
SRINAGAR: Chairman of hardline Hurriyat faction Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a shutdown in the Valley on Tuesday against the anti-Islamic movie made by a US filmmaker. The Valley witnessed protests for two consecutive days on Friday and Saturday. I appeal to Kashmiris to make the strike call successful on Tuesday; it is our religious duty, he said. ENS