Srinagar: Most parts of Kashmir Valley on Friday observed spontaneous shutdown even as authorities disallowed Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta here and clamped strict restrictions in various parts of downtown to prevent post Friday protests.
The joint resistance leadership (JRL) had called for the peaceful post-Friday protests in Valley against the brutal rape-and-murder of 8-year-old Asifa and killings of four civilians in Khudwani Kulgam in government forces action on Wednesday.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in most parts of Valley including Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Awntipora, and Tral while public transport was off the roads. The authorities also placed chairmen of Hurriyat Conference factions, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest while JKLF chief Yasin Malik remained lodged in central jail Srinagar.
Educational institutions, banks, post offices and government offices were closed across Jammu and Kashmir due to a public holiday in wake of Bhaishaki in the state.
Internet services were snapped in Shopian, Awantipora and Pulwama since Wednesday while as speed was slashed in Srinagar on the same day. The internet was snapped in Kulgam district on midnight Tuesday soon after the encounter broke out at Wani Mohalla, Khudwani.
The railway authorities suspended train services in Kashmir Valley. A railway official here told GNS that the decision was taken in wake of the apprehensions of law and order in the Valley.
Reports reaching GNS said that contingents of police and CRPF arrived in Nowhatta and adjoining areas in the morning and imposed restrictions. They said forces laid barbed wires on main roads and sealed the Jamia Masjid. Restrictions were also imposed in adjoining Rajouri Kadal, Bhori Kadal, Malarrata, Saraf Kadal areas.
Locals said forces did not allow civilian movement in these areas and enforced curbs strictly. They said Jamia Masjid was sealed from all sides and no one was allowed towards it.
An official of the district administration said restrictions under section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, M.R.Gunj and Safa Kadal in the Old City areas.
“Partial restrictions also remained in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud,” he added.
To prevent the chief of his faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from delivering weekly sermon at Jamia Masjid, authorities placed him under house arrest on Thursday evening. The Hurriyat Conference has condemned the continued house arrest of Mirwaiz and closure of Jamia Masjid for Friday prayers.
Mirwaiz condemned the disallowing of Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid.
Meanwhile, a police officer told GNS that situation across Kashmir remained peaceful barring some incidents of stone pelting at Chanapora, Khanpora Baramulla, Cement Pull Baramulla, Sabzi Mandi Soura, Kanli Bagh road Baramulla, Memander in Shopian, Main Chowk Sopore, Awantipora, Papchan Nandipora, Model town Sopore, Nowpora Bypass , Tral tehsil office, Grid station Kralgund Handwara, Serno Pulwama, Mirgund Budgam, Maloora, Drugmulla, Hatmullah, Kralpora, Natnussa, Naid khai, Wadoora crossing and Natnussa.
Meanwhile, reports said that three youths were detained by the police during the clashes at Drugmulla.
Four civilians were killed in government forces action near the encounter site at Wani Mohalla Khudwani, Kulgam on Wednesday. The intense clashes were broke out in the area soon after the news about the encounter spread.
An army soldier was also killed in the gunfight while as two others suffered injuries. The gunfight broke out on Tuesday midnight after the joint team of army, SOG and CRPF had laid a siege at Wani Mohalla.