‘Authorities turn old city into garrison on Fridays to destroy businesses’

SRINAGAR:  Hurriyat (M) on Friday accused the government of trying to destroy the business of traders in downtown Srinagar and harassing the people coming to offer prayers at the historic mosque in Nowhatta area of Kashmir capital.

Condemning what it termed as “unnecessary” presence of government forces around Jamia Masjid Srinagar, its adjoining areas and most areas of Shehar-e-Khas at the time of Friday Congregational prayers, a spokesman alleged that the old city has been left at the mercy of the forces.

He alleged that the forces are committing atrocities on unarmed civilians by tear gas shelling and pepper gas under a well-formulated scheme to “destroy the business of traders and harass the people coming to offer prayers at the historic mosque.”

He said that the amalgam had time and again brought the issue of unnecessary presence of forces around Jamia Masjid on Fridays to the notice of the state administration and also cautioned about its serious repercussions.

“The authorities were fanning unrest in the entire area by trying to destroy the business activities of the Shehar-e-Khas, creating miseries for poor artisans living in the area and damaging the importance and centrality of the historic Jamia Mosque.”

He alleged that the entire area was being converted into a garrison at the time of Friday prayers.

This, he added, created problems for people trying to reach Jamia Masjid for offering prayers. (CNS)

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