Day 112 : Security Blanket Envelops Jamia Masjid

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Srinagar: Reacting to the Mirwaiz’ challenge of breaking into Jamia Masjid premises to perform the ritualistic Friday congregational prayer, authorities on Friday threw a tight security blanket around the historical mosque after ensuring every possible entry leading to Nowhatta was completely sealed.

Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had vowed he’ll break curfew on Friday to lead the prayer. It was the 16th consecutive Friday that authorities disallowed prayers in the grand mosque.

Mirwaiz, who was shifted from sub-jail Chashma Shahi after two months of detention on 24 October and placed under house arrest, defied the curfew on Friday afternoon.

He tried to take out the march towards the historic Jamia Masjid, where no Friday prayers could be offered during the past 15 weeks due to the restriction.

Soon after the separatist leader came out from his Nigeen residence, police took him into custody and lodged him at Nigeen police station, officials said.

The separatist camp, comprising of Mirwaiz, hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for the march to Jamia Masjid to end the "siege" of the grand old mosque.

However, authorities imposed curfew in six police station areas of the city to scuttle the proposed march.

Elsewhere, life remained adversely affected for the 112th consecutive day in the Valley due to curbs, curfew and separatist called protest shutdown on Friday.

Clashes and protests were reported from different parts of Valley against the arrest spree, night raids, ransacking of houses and properties and the presence of Indian Army in Kashmir Valley.   

A peaceful march was carried out in Pirbagh Hyderpora locality of Srinagar city. The procession was shortly the Friday prayers concluded. The protesters chanted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

Stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Soura area of Srinagar city.

Government Forces resorted to tear-smoke shelling when a large number of protesters attacked them with stones in Preng Kangan area of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. Protests sparked in Lari Kangan after police arrested a youth Ishfaq Ahmed Dar who according to locals was not involved in any stone-pelting incident.

Clashes erupted in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Friday after police and paramilitary forces foiled a pro-freedom rally. Reports and witnesses said that people from Plan, Nowpora and Nibripora areas tried to gather at Gulshan chowk after offering congregational Friday prayers at Jamia masjid. However, forces lobbed dozens of teargas and sound shells to disperse the protestors, triggering clashes.

A massive pro-freedom march was taken out in Aloosa Bandipora that was led by senior separatist leader Abdul Samad Inqalabi. The protesters raised pro-freedom slogans and later on the march culminated peacefully. Before the culmination of the march, funeral prayers in absentia was offered for those killed during the current uprising.

Clashes erupted in Sopore town shortly after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers when government forces tried to stop the marchers; however they responded with stones leading to clashes.

Police foiled pro-freedom protests at Palhalan and Pattan when they fired tear-smoke shells on protesters. A pro-freedom protest was also dispersed by police at Kalsari Nihalpora areas of Pattan town. Protesters alleged that police used scores of tear-gas shells on them filling atmosphere with huge clouds of smoke.

According to eyewitnesses, a peaceful march was taken out by large number of people in Bijbehara town that culminated peacefully at Goriwan. The protesters chanted pro-freedom slogans and denounced the unabated arrests and night raids. The protesters demanded immediate resolution to Kashmir imbroglio.

A procession was taken out from Khankah Faizpanah in Tral town that ended at Bus Stand. They protesters resorted to stone-pelting while government forces fired tear-smoke shells to disperse them. Stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Kadipora and Anchidora areas of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district while peaceful protests were held in Sher Bagh and Seer Hamdan.

A police handout said that situation remained under control throughout Kashmir today till filling of this report. In view of Jamia Masjid Chalo call given by some separatists organizations  restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure in some parts of Srinagar.

 “After Friday prayers some stone pelting incidents were reported from Srinagar, Pulwama, Kulgam and Sopore. At these places miscreants after Friday prayers assembled and pelted stones on Police and security force deployments. They were chased away. In Pulwama, miscreants lobbed a petrol bomb on police and security force deployment in Pirchoo area. However, no one was injured in this incident. Police has taken cognizance of the incident.”

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