Educational institutions remain closed for 2nd day; Friday prayers again disallowed at Jamia Masjid; JKLF, Hurriyat activists stage demos; Class-work to remain suspended in 4 institutions in Srinagar today
Many areas of Kashmir witnessed massive protests and clashes between the youth and the government forces on Friday against the continued braid chopping incidents, with people accusing the government of failing to deal with the “grave issue.”
On directions of the government, all educational institutions remained closed for the second consecutive day Friday, while authorities disallowed the Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid for the third consecutive week.
The call for protests was given by Kashmir’s joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
CURBS IN DOWNTOWN
A witness said that strict curbs remained in place in Mahraj Gunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari and Safa Kadal areas in Downtown Srinagar.
Wearing riot-gear, the police and Central Reserve Police Force personnel were seen patrolling the interiors while main roads were blocked with concertina wire, said Riyaz Ahmad of Nowhatta.
Residents said that the forces enforced strict curfew and no one was allowed to venture out of their homes.
“Every now and then we are subjected to worst form of curfew and curbs. We are not even allowed to protest against the attack on our mothers and sisters,” said Nazir Ahmed of Rajouri Kadal. “What will happen when government chokes people from raising the voice against genuine issues?”
NO FRIDAY PRAYERS
The government didn’t allow congregational Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid for the third consecutive week, triggering strong resentment from the Jamia Auqaf.
“We tried to proceed towards Jamia Masjid but were pushed back by the government forces. This is the third consecutive Friday that government has barred people from offering prayers at the central mosque,” said a spokesman of the Jamia Auqaf.
The government didn’t also allow the chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from proceeding towards the grand mosque and instead kept him under house detention at his Nigeen residence.
“As assaults on us increase each day by the state and their local henchmen, it is once again third consecutive week that obligatory Friday prayers have been barred from taking place at Central Jamia Masjid and people of the area made hostage in their homes while I continue to be under forced house detention,” Mirwaiz wrote on his twitter handle.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani continued to remain under house arrest while JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik stands lodged in central jail Srinagar.
HURRIYAT CONFERENCE (G) ACTIVISTS STAGE PROTESTS
Leaders and activists of Hurriyat Conference (G) staged a protest at Hyderpora, here on Friday. The protest was led by senior leader Bashir Ahmed Qureshi.
Addressing people, the Hurriyat leaders said that “women in Kashmir are no longer safe even in their homes.”
“The braid choppers are not aliens. Authorities must come clean as to why these culprits are not brought to book and what is the reason that they are still at large,” they questioned.
Another protest was staged at historic Aali Masjid at Eidgah in Downtown. The protest was led by Imam-e-Hai of Jamia Masjid, Moulana Syed Ahmed Naqshbandi. Dozens of Hurriyat Conference (M) leaders and activists participated in the protest and demanded immediate action against the braid choppers.
‘DON’T TEST OUR PATIENCE’
According to a Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front spokesman, a protest rally was taken out from the Front office at Abi Guzzar here after Friday prayers. The protest was led by senior JKLF leader Noor Muhammad Kalwal while others who were present in the rally included Zahoor Ahmad Butt, Muhammad Yasin Bhat , Muhammad Sadeeq Shah, Prof Javaid and Ghulam Muhammad Dar.
The spokesman said that police had laid barricades on roads leading towards Lal Chowk because of which the protest rally was turned into a protest sit-in.
“With placards in hands and raising slogans against attacks on women, the protesters strongly condemned the incidents of braid chopping. The protest was addressed by various JKLF leaders who also delivered a message from incarcerated JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik on the occasion,” the spokesman said.
In his message from Central Jail, Malik asked the rulers to immediately stop attacks on Kashmiri women.
“If these ugly attacks are not halted immediately, these will have serious consequences and responsibility of anything untoward will lie on the shoulders of the rulers. The speed with which these braid-cutting incidents are happening and the utter shameful attitude of rulers, and failure to identify or arrest culprits involved in attacks on women, is proving that something is fishy.”
EVENING CLASHES IN DOWNTOWN, PROTESTS ELSEWHERE
Evening clashes were reported from various parts of Downtown Srinagar against the unabated braid chopping incidents across Kashmir.
A witness said as soon as the forces were withdrawn, protests followed by clashes broke out in Safa Kadal, Waniyar, Braripora, Nawa Kadal and Kadwara areas of Downtown. “Police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters, who responded with stones and bricks. Today, our protest is against the attack on our mothers and sisters,” a protestor said at Nawa Kadal.
Similar protests were reported at Nowgam, Wanbal near railway bridge, Natipora, Kralpora, Rawalpora and other areas of uptown.
A late evening report said that locals also staged a protest at NIT campus near Nigeen.
Reports of protests against braid chopping also poured in from various district headquarters including Anatnag, Pulwama, and Sopore in Baramulla. “Youth, soon after the Friday prayers, took to the streets and staged protests in these districts,” locals said.
In Anantnag, a witness said, clashes erupted in Anantnag town after Friday prayers. “Youth took to streets and clashed with government forces at Lal chowk, Mattan Adda, Achabal Adda and Janglat Mandi.”
CLASS-WORK TO REMAIN SUSPENDED
According to the district administration Srinagar, class work in Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Amar Singh College, SP Higher Secondary School, and MP Higher Secondary School shall remain suspended on October 14, (Saturday) as a precautionary measure.