‘UN March’ Blocked

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday foiled “UN March” called by the joint resistance leadership by imposing strict restrictions and detaining top pro-freedom leaders while curbs remained in force in Valley for the 2nd consecutive day.

Authorities imposed strict restrictions in Srinagar and other parts of Valley to foil the “UN March”.  All the entry and exit points in Srinagar and other districts of the Valley were sealed by police and paramilitary personnel.

Kashmir Valley observed a complete shutdown on Thursday as well observing fourth death anniversary of parliament attack convict, Muhammad Afzal Guru, who was secretly hanged in Tihar Jail on February 09, 2013 in New Delhi.

The cops had also sealed all the roads leading to United Nations Military Observers’ Group (UNMOGIP) office at Sonwar in Srinagar.

The cops had placed armoured vehicles and concertina wires on the roads to prevent people from taking to roads and marching towards the UN office.

Senior pro-freedom leader Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house arrest while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest on Friday morning and he was even not allowed to lead Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid.

Authorities disallowed Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar by restricting movement of people around the historic central Masjid.

A spokesperson of Hurriyat Conference (M) said that the doors of the Masjid were locked to bar the weekly congregational prayers.

Resistance leadership including Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik had called on people to march towards UN office to stress on the world body to “intervene and put pressure on India to return the mortal remains of sons of soil Muhammad Maqbool Bhat and Muhammad Afzal Guroo who are buried inside India’s Tihar Jail”.

Despite restrictions, people at many places in Srinagar attempted to march towards the UN office. However, they were disallowed and dispersed by the security men.

Police foiled Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front protest rally and arrested scores of activists including Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik.

Reports said that a large number of people tried to carry out a pro-freedom protest rally shortly after Friday congregational prayers concluded at Sarai Bala Srinagar.

However, heavy contingent of police and CRPF blocked the passage and stopped protesters from moving towards city centre Lal Chowk.

Police bundled JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik and others into vehicles and lodged them at police station Kothi Bagh. Besides Malik, Ghazi Javaid Baba, Ghulam Muhammad Dar and Muhammad Yasin Bhat were also detained at Kothi Bagh police station.

Eyewitnesses said that the youth at many places also clashed with the security personnel. During the clashes, police and paramilitary personnel fired tear smoke shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones on them.

Clashes between armed forces and protesters were reported from Soura and Safakadal areas of Srinagar city.

Clashes erupted in North Kashmir’s Sopore town after the Friday congregational prayers.

Eyewitnesses told news gathering agency CNS that a large number of people took to roads and staged a pro-freedom protest.

Witnesses added that police stopped the protesters near Jamia Masjid Road that resulted in clashes.

Protesters resorted to stone-pelting while police and Para-military Central Reserve Police Force used tear-smoke shells to disperse them. The clashes between protesters and forces continued for hours.

Intense stone pelting clashes erupted in Palhallan area of Baramulla district after Friday prayers, reports said.

They said that soon after the congregational prayers were over people tried to assemble and raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

They said that police tried to chase the protesters who pelted stones on them resulting in clashes. “Police also used massive teargas shells to disperse the civilian protests.”

Forces used tear smoke shells to disperse hundreds of protesters in volatile Palhallan Pattan area on Friday.

The reports added that heavy clashes were going on near the government higher secondary school Palhallan, however, there were no reports of any injuries.

In South Kashmir, Umat-e-Islamia patron alleged that police foiled their efforts to organize a blood donation camp.

A police official said that situation remained peaceful throughout Valley.

Prayers Disallowed In Jamia Masjid

The PDP-BJP government on Friday, once again, disallowed mandatory congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta Srinagar by restricting the movement of people around the central Masjid.

According to reports, the doors of the Masjid were locked to bar the weekly congregational prayers.

Heavy deployment was made since morning in Nowhatta area to ensure strict restrictions.

It was in 2016 after popular militant commander Burhan Wani was killed on July 08 that the government banned people from offering Friday prayers for nineteen consecutive Fridays.

Police officials said that deployment was made to “maintain law and order”.

Pertinently, joint resistance leadership had called for UN march after Friday prayers

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