Situation was peaceful, restrictions imposed for safety of people: IGP
Srinagar: Authorities Friday barred people from offering congregational Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar for the sixth consecutive week, evoking condemnations.
The people are being disallowed to offer the Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid since Jumma-tul-Vida (last Friday of Ramadhan).
All the gates of Jamia Masjid continued to remain locked while all the roads leading to the historic Masjid were sealed by the authorities by erecting concertina wires, witnesses said.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat (M) chief and head preacher of Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continued to remain under house. Mirwaiz delivers sermons on every Friday at Jamia Masjid.
Meanwhile, the district administration on Friday imposed restrictions in under section 144 were imposed in Srinagar areas falling under the jurisdiction of a few Police Stations including Nowhatta, Maharaj Gunj and others.
The restrictions were imposed to thwart the protests called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) against the suspension of life sentences of army soldiers involved in Machhil fake encounter and arresting pro-freedom leaders, officials said.
JRL including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement had appealed people to stage protest after Friday prayers.
A military court has reportedly suspended the life sentences and granted bail to five army men, including two officers, convicted for extrajudicial killing of three civilians near Line of Control (LoC) in 2010.
Meanwhile, following the call given by JRL, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front (JKLF) activists and leaders today staged protest. The protesters raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. They also condemned the arrests made by National Investigating Agency (NIA).
Meanwhile, clashes erupted between youth and forces in Sopore town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district after the Friday congregational prayers ended in the Masjids.
Witnesses said that as soon as the prayers ended in the Sopore Jamia Masjid, the youth took to street and chanted pro-freedom slogans.
The youth also pelted stones on the forces deployed in the area who resorted to tear gas canisters to disperse them.
Meanwhile, a peaceful protest rally was held in Beerwah town of central Kashmir’s Budgam district against the killing of Tanveer Ahmad by army last week.
The protesters were raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans as they headed towards the martyrs’ graveyard to offer prayers to Tanveer. Wani was killed after army opened fire in Beerwah town last Friday.
A spontaneous shutdown was observed in the town after the weekly congregational prayers.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Khan told KNS that the situation was under control and peaceful.
“Barring Sopore where some 20 youths protested, rest of the places in Kashmir remained peaceful,” Khan told KNS.
Asked about disallowing of Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid and imposing restrictions on the movement of the people, the IGP said, “Restrictions were imposed for the safety of the people”.
“Police does not want miscreants should damage public property and life of the people. So, the restrictions are put in place in Nowhatta for safety of the people,” he said, adding, that people across the valley offered Friday prayers peacefully.