SRINAGAR – Fresh restrictions were imposed in parts of the city to “maintain law and order” in view of Friday congregational prayers, officials said.
They said the curbs were imposed in Anchar area under the jurisdiction of police station Soura and the areas around the historic Jamia Masjid in police station Nowhatta.
The authorities have been imposing restrictions in vulnerable areas of the valley on Friday, apprehending that there might be protests outside big mosques and shrines.
Friday prayers have not been allowed at Jamia Masjid the grand mosque of Kashmir in downtown (old city area) – for the past over two months now. Precisely, Friday prayers were not allowed for the eleventh successive week in historic mosque. Also, all roads around Hazrat Gousal-Azam shrine, popularly known as Dastageer Sahib Shrine, were closed with barbed wires and by parking bullet proof vehicles. Security forces were directing people to take alternate routes to reach to their destinations though prayers were offered in the shine.
Prayers were allowed in mosques in the interior areas in the valley.
Restrictions were first imposed across the Kashmir Valley on August 5 when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the state into two Union territories. The restrictions were eased in phases from the valley.
Meanwhile, normal life remained affected across the valley for the 75th consecutive day on Friday.
The main markets and other business establishments were shut, the officials said.
Autorickshaws and few inter-district cabs were also seen plying in few areas of the valley, they said.
However, the other modes of public transport were off the roads.
Schools and colleges were open, but students stayed away as parents continued to keep their wards at home due to apprehensions about their safety, the officials said.
Pots-paid mobile services were restored in Kashmir on Monday, but the SMS facility was snapped once again later that night due to apprehensions of the services being misused.
Internet services — across all platforms continued to be snapped in the valley, they added.
Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest.
Another former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety act. (With Inputs From Agencies)