Day 3: Shutdown, Restrictions Against Civilian Killings Hits Life

Srinagar—Most parts of Kashmir Valley on Friday observed spontaneous shutdown even as authorities disallowed Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta here and clamped strict restrictions in various parts of downtown to prevent post Friday protests.

The joint resistance leadership (JRL) had called for the peaceful post-Friday protests in Valley against the brutal rape-and-murder of 8-year-old Asifa and killings of four civilians in Khudwani Kulgam in government forces action on Wednesday.

Shops and business establishments remained closed in most parts of Valley including Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Awntipora, and Tral while public transport was off the roads. The authorities also placed chairmen of Hurriyat Conference factions, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest while JKLF chief Yasin Malik remained lodged in central jail Srinagar.

Educational institutions, banks, post offices and government offices were closed across Jammu and Kashmir due to a public holiday on account of Bhaishaki in the state.

Internet services were snapped in Shopian, Awantipora and Pulwama since Wednesday while as speed was slashed in Srinagar on the same day. The internet was snapped in Kulgam district on midnight Tuesday soon after the encounter broke out at Wani Mohalla, Khudwani.

The railway authorities suspended train services in Kashmir Valley. A railway official here told GNS that the decision was taken in wake of the apprehensions of law and order in the Valley.

Reports reaching GNS said that contingents of police and CRPF arrived in Nowhatta and adjoining areas in the morning and imposed restrictions. They said forces laid barbed wires on main roads and sealed the Jamia Masjid. Restrictions were also imposed in adjoining Rajouri Kadal, Bhori Kadal, Malarrata, Saraf Kadal areas.

Locals said forces did not allow civilian movement in these areas and enforced curbs strictly. They said Jamia Masjid was sealed from all sides and no one was allowed towards it.

An official of the district administration said restrictions under section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, M.R.Gunj and Safa Kadal in the Old City areas.

“Partial restrictions also remained in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud,” he added.

To prevent the chief of his faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from delivering weekly sermon at Jamia Masjid, authorities placed him under house arrest on Thursday evening. The Hurriyat Conference has condemned the continued house arrest of Mirwaiz and closure of Jamia Masjid for Friday prayers.

Chenab Valley Also Observes Shutdown

Bhaderwah, Doda and Kishtwar towns of Chenab Valley on Friday observed a shutdown to protest against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl Asifa Bano and the recent civilian killings in Kashmir.

Normal life was affected in Bhaderwah, Doda, Gundoh, Kishtwar and Khara areas as all shops and businesses establishments remained closed.

Soon after the Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Bhaderwah, people took out protest and shouted slogans against Jammu and Kathua Bar associations and Hindu Ekta Manch who supported the accused in the rape and murder case.

“It pains us that some people in Jammu and Kathua are supporting murderers and rapists,” President Anjuman Islamia Bhaderwah Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh told GNS. “Is humanity dead? How can they support rapists and murderers? We want exemplary punishment for the accused. They should be hanged.”

He said the Jammu Bar Association through its protests was communalizing and politicizing the rape and murder of the minor.

“It was deplorable, disgusting and against all the ethics. We had never seen that educated people and politicians coming out and waving the tri-colour in support of the rape and murder accused,” Sheikh added.

Though the joint resistance leadership (JRL) of Kashmir, spearheaded by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, had called for protests on Friday, Bhaderwah observed shutdown also called by Anjuman Islamia to commemorate the anniversary of 1990 Bhaderwah killings. (GNS)

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