Strict restrictions were imposed in Kashmir on Friday as part of the 84-hour long ‘covid lockdown’ announced by the administration to contain the pandemic.
The Friday prayers were not held in most of the masjids and shrines across Kashmir even as the police said that people cooperated in making the lockdown effective.
The movement of people, except medical emergencies, essential services and media men, was restricted as most of the roads were barricaded temporarily by the police in Srinagar and elsewhere.
The J&K administration on Wednesday ordered a complete lockdown for 84 hours in the districts of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Baramulla from 7Pm on Thursday to 7am on Monday. However, essential services were exempted from the lockdown.
The lockdown will be extended to the remaining three Kashmir districts —Kupwara, Bandipora and Shopian— from Friday evening till Monday morning.
Shops and businesses establishments were closed while the roads were deserted as traffic and people were off the roads in the restriction bound areas of Kashmir. However, people with emergency or associated with essential services, including doctors and paramedics and media men were allowed to move on the roads.
Pertinently, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar had on Thursday directed security forces to facilitate hassle-free movement of doctors, healthcare workers, media persons and essential services during the lockdown.
In most parts of Srinagar and other districts police through public addresses systems fitted to its vehicles were urging the people to stay indoors and follow the advisories in letter and spirit.
The Friday prayers were not offered in historic Jama Masjid here and other major masjids in Kashmir. However, prayers were offered in masjids in the interior areas with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, including maintaining social distancing.
Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid, which manages Srinagar’s historic Jama Masjid, had already announced the suspension of all congregational prayers at the grand masjid in view of spurt in COVID cases in Kashmir.
Officials here said that only few vegetable and fruit sellers and grocery stores were open in restriction bound districts.
Police here said that people were very much cooperative and they stayed indoors. However, they said that there were some violations of which cases were registered in different districts.