Srinagar: Authorities on Friday lifted curbs from the residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and allowed him to deliver sermon at historic Jamia Masjid Nowhatta after 20 consecutive Fridays.
After the prayers, Mirwaiz led a huge procession from Jamia Masjid that culminated at Rajouri Kadal. Addressing the rally, he asked “anti-movement elements” to desist from their activities. “If these elements will continue to support and work for government agencies, their names will be made public,” Mirwaiz said.
Meanwhile, normal life in valley remained disrupted on Friday, while authorities imposed restrictions in Maisuma and detained JKLF leader Muhammad Yasin Malik to quell possible protests.
The movement of people and transport was comparatively less due to apprehensions of law and order after congregational prayers.
Shops, fuel stations and other business establishments remained shut in most parts of Kashmir due to the shutdown call of resistance leadership
In Srinagar, authorities detained Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Yasin Malik after he tried to march towards Lal Chowk in Srinagar.
A JKLF spokesman said that Malik was taken into custody after he tried to stage a pro-freedom demonstration in Lal Chowk.
Before his detention, Malik expressed his concern over the plight of prisoners lodged in various jails of the state. He demanded the release of all the persons detained during the on-going uprising.
Clashes erupted shortly after Friday congregational prayers in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city when a large number of protesting youth hit to road near Reka Chowk and pelted stones on government forces who according to witnesses retaliated with pellets. The clashes continued for hours there.
In Baramulla, intense clashes erupted in Sopore town of the district after Friday prayers, reports said.
They said that after Friday prayers people in large numbers assembled in Jamia Masjid area of the Sopore town and started shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
“They later started marching towards main chowk. However, police and paramilitary forces were deployed there in strength.” Witnesses said that the presence of forces enraged some youth who started pelting stones at the security forces and police. Police and paramilitary forces retaliated and resorted to massive teargas shelling.
Meanwhile, people in Tahab area of Pulwama district staged a protest against the arrest spree. They hit to roads and raised pro-freedom slogans. The protesters said that during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday police conducted nocturnal raids and arrested more than 25 people.
They said that at around 12 during the night the village was cordoned and police and paramilitary forces amid shrieks of people, in large numbers started entering homes.
“Police wreaked havoc by smashing windowpanes and damaging properties,” the locals alleged.
Confirming the arrests, a police official said that they are all involved in stone-pelting incidents and anti-India protests.
Reports said that “pro-freedom” protests were also held in Newa and Aarihal area of Pulwama district.
Meanwhile the Dooru area of Islamabad district where a civilian was killed on Thursday night witnessed strict curfew and restrictions. People were not allowed to venture out from their houses, locals said.
A police official said that barring stray stone-pelting incidents the situation across Valley remained peaceful.
Police, Paramilitary Seal Lal Chowk
Restrictions were imposed in some parts of the civil lines, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, Srinagar, where business and other activities remained paralysed due to separatist strike.
However, police said there is no restriction of curfew in any part of the Kashmir valley.
All roads leading to Maisuma, stronghold of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) near here have been closed with barbed wire at Budshah Chowk, Haji Masjid, Gaw Kadal, Red Cross road and Madina Chowk.Vehicles were being directed to take Moulana Azad road for going to down town. Large number of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed to prevent any law and order problem.
Panic gripped in Lal Chowk and Gantha Ghar, the nerve centre of the city, when security forces closed all roads leading to the chowk.
Vehicles were being directed to take Lala Rukh road after security forces closed the main Gantha Ghar with barbed wire. However, pedestrians were being allowed. Security forces had also closed roads leading to Lal Chowk at several places, including Aftab Gali.
The busy Amira Kadal bridge over river Jehlum, connecting main business hub Hari Singh High Street (HSHS) with Lal Chowk has also been closed as security forces had put barbed wire on both sides of the bridge. People were being directed to take Budshah bridge to reach to civil lines.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in the main business hubs at Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Polo View, Regal Chowk, HSHS, Gonikhan, Mahraj Bazar, Maisuma, Residency road and Moulana Azad road. Private transport and some passenger vehicles was plying on Moulana Azad road only since Maisuma and Lal Chowk remained closed.
Clashes In Downtown, Elsewhere
Security forces burst teargas shells to disperse to disperse protests after Friday prayers at some places in the valley, where business and other activities remained crippled since July 9.
Shouting ‘pro-freedom’ and anti-forces slogans, hundreds of protestors, today took to streets after Friday prayers at Safakadal and its adjoining areas in downtown Srinagar, demanding 'right to self determination'.
However, security forces deployed in the area swung into action and stopped them from moving ahead.
As the protestors didn’t back down, security forces burst teargas shells to disperse demonstrators, who were pelting stones.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people hit the streets after Friday prayers were over at Jamia Masjid in the apple township of Sopore in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, against killed of civilians and demanding ‘right to self determination’.
However, security forces burst teargas shells to disperse demonstrators, who were regrouping and pelting stones.
Reports of clashes were coming from some other parts of Kashmir valley as well.
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