No prayers in Jamia Masjid on 9th Friday
Geelani, Mirwaiz, Shah, Malik Under House Arrest
Srinagar, Nov 5: Despite severe criticism against the government, no prayers were allowed today for the 9th consecutive Friday at the historic Jamia Masjid here as curfew was clamped in several parts of Srinagar while situation remained normal in rest of the Valley.
The Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani had exempted the day from strike in view of Deewali.
The authorities continued with their practice of keeping people away from offering prayers at Jamia Masjid.
“Despite strong protests by the Ulema, scholars, Muftis and Imams against the restrictions on Friday prayers in different mosques including central Jamia Masjid, Khankahas, Imambaras and some shrines, the government continued with its policy against Friday prayers at Jamia Mosque and different places of worship thereby playing with the religious sentiments of Kashmiris,” said the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. He was placed under house arrest and prevented from offering prayers for the ninth Friday today.
Veteran leader and Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani continued to be under house arrest for the 8th continuous Friday. JKLF chief Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah were also put under house arrest. Castigating the Government for “interfering” in religious affairs of Muslims in Kashmir by not allowing congregational Friday prayers, the leading Muslim clerics of the Valley had on last Tuesday passed resolutions threatening to start an agitation if the “suppression tactics” were not immediately stopped.
The Ulema from various organizations under the banner of Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema had met at Mirwaiz Manzil here and passed many resolutions to decry the curbs on prayers at Jamia Masjid.
Today curfew was re-imposed in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of nine police stations in downtown and other areas.
A heavy deployment of police and paramilitary CRPF was seen in the curfew bound areas wherein the public movement was severely restricted and traffic was not allowed to ply on the roads.
In many areas like Nowhatta, Hawal, Khanyar the troops blocked the roads with concertina wire, restricting the public movement.
A Police spokesman said security forces had been deployed in strength in sensitive areas as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order and foil any attempt to disturb peace.
However, the situation was normal elsewhere as shops and other business establishments re-opened this morning and a heavy rush of traffic was witnessed on roads.
The commercial hub of the summer capital—Lal Chowk—witnessed heavy rush of people. The market wore festive looks at many places in view of the Deewali with people of the minority community seen busy in shopping for sweets, gifts and crackers.
But the massive traffic jams at many places here continued to trouble the people.
Reports said situation was also normal in major towns of the valley including Islamabad (Anantnag), Budgam and Baramulla.
The police spokesperson said law and order situation in the Valley including Srinagar remained peaceful.
“There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere,” he said, adding barring one incident of stone pelting at Baramulla, there were no reports of any untoward incident from any other place. He said curfew restrictions in all the curfew bound areas of Srinagar city were relaxed in phase wise manner.
However, the spokesman said some “miscreants” assembled at main chowk Delina, Baramulla, soon after the Friday prayers and attempted to disrupt peace by resorting to stone pelting on security forces deployments, who were deployed in the area. The youth was later chased away.
Dozens of youth after offering congregational Friday prayers assembled at main chowk Sopore and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. Chanting pro-freedom slogans, the protesters pelted stones on the forces. In retaliation, forces lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the demonstrators. The clashes continued for over an hour. However, no reports of any injury were received.
Reports of protests and clashes were also received from several parts of South Kashmir.
In Shopian district, hundreds of people took to streets at main chowk, Bonbazar, Tak Masjid and other areas and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. Chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans the protesters tried to take out a march through DC office road. However, CRPF and police that were deployed in advance burst tear smoke shells to quell the demonstrators. The police action triggered violent clashes in the area.
Geelani-led Hurriyat, which is spearheading the ongoing agitation in the Valley, had exempted the day from the purview of its strike calendar.
Kashmir Valley has been in the grip of protests, strikes and curfew following the killing of 111 civilians in police and CRPF action.
Condemning Yasin Malik’s house arrest, a JKLF spokesman said a contingent of police cordoned Malik’s Maisuma’s residence this morning and informed him that he could not go out.
Malik, according to the spokesman, was scheduled to address a gathering at Hajin in north Kashmir after congregational prayers.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 6 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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