Jamia Masjid, Several Mosques Go Without Friday Prayers
SRINAGAR (ONS) – Curfew continued unbroken in the Old City for the second day on Friday, with no relaxation in any area, even as authorities tightened the squeeze further in view of possible trouble at weekly congregational prayers.
Till late evening today, the government had made no formal and definite announcement about lifting or maintaining the clampdown which crossed the 48 hour mark since being imposed on Wednesday night.
Friday prayers could not be offered at the central Jamia Masjid and a number of other downtown venues as additional guard had been mounted on key mosques, shrines and imambargahs in the curfew-bound areas.
Restrictions on possible civilian movement in the curfew zone were reinforced with additional barricades on streets and crossings, and more deployment of police and paramilitary forces.
Authorities used temporary steel gates to seal off all links between central and lower Srinagar, and bolstered obstructions in the curfew-bound areas.
With tens of thousands people confined indoors, families faced difficulty for supplies and essentials.
City life outside the curfew zone remained severely disrupted today as well, with a large number of shops closed, sparse traffic and make-shift arrangements in educational institutions and government offices.
Though no restrictions were in place in central and upper Srinagar, police and paramilitary men had been deployed in apprehension of possible disturbance after Friday prayers.
A senior police officer said that the situation could have taken any turn in view of weekly congregations.
Police and paramilitary units had been issued strict instructions to go into action with non-lethal gear wherever trouble broke out, he said.
The overall situation remained peaceful throughout the day. Curfew can be lifted on Saturday depending on a thorough assessment of the situation, he said.
Nine police precincts, including one in the upper city, had been placed under curfew late on Wednesday evening after group clashes in the Zadibal area.
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