Jamia Surroundings Turn into Battle Ground

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Anjuman-e-Auqaf accuses police of desecrating Grand Mosque

SRINAGAR:  Clashes broke out between groups of youth and government forces inside the compound of Jamia Masjid soon after Friday prayers. Several protesters were injured in the police action.

The protesters also waved Pakistani and ISIS flags during the clashes, eyewitnesses said.

According to the reports soon after Friday prayers, groups of youth took  out a march from Jamia Masjid. Chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, the protesters started to march towards Nowhatta Chowk but the government forces deployed there fired teargas shells towards them.

“The teargas shelling created panic in entire area. The people coming out of the mosque were seen running helter skelter for cover. Many of them rushed back into Jamia Masjid to escape the tear smoke shells. However, eyewitnesses said, scores of masked youth offered stiff resistance and resorted to heavy stone-pelting on forces.” 

The intense clashes between these people and government forces continued for over an hour.

Meanwhile, Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid alleged that police forcibly entered the Grand Mosque and thrashed devotees. 

“Police also desecrated the Jamia Masjid and fired teargas shells inside the mosque,” the Anjuman, responsible for the upkeep of the historic mosque, said in a statement.

To protest the desecration, Anjuman-e-Auqaf which is headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq called for a shutdown on June 27 across the Srinagar district.

Several photojournalists also accused police of thrashing them as well as interfering in their professional duty. A photojournalist said that the police “deliberately” targeted scribes. 

Senior photojournalists were thrashed and humiliated by police, he said, adding: “to save ourselves we preferred to leave the spot.”

Geelani, Mirwaiz call for shutdown 

Srinagar:  Hurriyat Conference leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Shabir Shah besides Yasin Malik Friday endorsed the strike call issued by Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar.

Auqaf called for Hartal on Saturday in Srinagar district against alleged police desecration and atrocities at Jamia Masjid and Kashmir University.

“Police violated the basic norms of morality by entering Jamia Masjid,” a Hurriyat (M) statement quoting Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said adding, “this action of forces has desecrated the sanctity of the mosque and has caused great distress and suffering for the devotees.”

Meanwhile, Hurriyat (G) also called for shutdown in Srinagar against alleged police atrocities in Nowhatta and Kashmir University. “Police have unleashed reign of terror on the freedom loving people of Kashmir may it be in Jamia Masjid or Kashmir University,” spokesperson of the amalgam said.

JKLF Chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik has also called for a strike tomorrow. Freedom party chairman Shabir Ahemd Shah also appealed people to observe hartal on Saturday against the ongoing suppression by authorities.

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