SRINAGAR Authorities imposed curbs in Nowhatta area of Old Srinagar on Friday in wake of the third death anniversary of Sajad Ahmad Gilkar, who was killed along with two other militant associates, one of them a Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander, in an encounter with government forces in Budgam district of central Kashmir on this day in 2017.
Reports said shops and business establishments remained closed in the downtown, including Nowhatta,
Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal, Naqashband sahib and Jamia Market, due to spontaneous shutdown and restrictions imposed by the authorities.
Sajad had gone missing on June 29, 2017 and joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants. Sajad was accused by police of having played a key role in the lynching of police official Mohammed Ayoub Pandith outside the Jamia mosque in Srinagar on 23 June same year. The family had however contested the allegations, saying the police was falsely linking their son to various cases under pressure.
The mandatory Friday congregational prayers were disallowed at historic Jamia Masjid as all four gates of the mosque were locked, witnesses said.
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house detention. Meanwhile, Hurriyat (M) and Awami Action Committee said that barring people from offering congregational Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid putting curbs in and around downtown is extremely unfortunate and interference in religious obligations of people.
It also castigated the decision of putting APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest. Mirwaiz was supposed to chair the meeting of AAC and Hurriyat at Mirwaiz Manzil regarding the March to martyrs graveyard at Naqashband Sahib (RA) shrine, Khawaja Bazar on July 13 (Saturday) to pay tributes to martyrs of July 13, 1931, but due to house arrest could not do so.
The statement said it is a highly undemocratic aimed at throttling the freedom of speech and expression. Meanwhile, AAC recalled the great and supreme sacrifices of the martyrs of July 13, 1931 and paid tributes to them. AAC said that these martyrs were the first to raise their voice in J&K against the oppressive autocratic rule who sacrificed their life fighting it.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and several other separatist groups also paid tribute to the martyrs.
The Kashmir High Court Bar Association said that on July 13, 1931, the people of Kashmir stormed the gates of Central Jail, Srinagar and formed their way in the courtyard to watch the proceedings of a criminal case filed against one Abdul Qadeer, who was arrested for making a speech at Khankah-i-Moula for mobilizing the Muslims against the desecration of Holy Quran at Jammu police lines.
On this, the District Magistrate, Srinagar, without making any attempt to pacify the people, ordered the police to open fire, in which 21 innocent Kashmiries got killed and more than 300 were arrested, alongwith their leaders and were put behind the bars, the lawyers body said.