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2016-10-29 06:34:24

Police foils ‘Jamia Chalo’ with curfew

The J&K government imposed strict curfew in old Srinagar areas on Friday to foil the proposed march to Jamia Masjid (Grand Mosque) by Kashmir’s joint resistance leadership. The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained while trying to defy the curbs around his residence and proceed towards the grand mosque in old Srinagar’s Nowhatta locality.   

Reports said strict curfew was imposed in areas falling under police stations in old Srinagar including Maharaj Gunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Rainawari, while strict restrictions remained in place in Batamaloo and Maisuma areas of uptown city as well. Residents of old Srinagar areas said heavy deployment of police and paramilitary CRPF personnel was made on the streets while main roads were sealed with concertina wire. Roads leading to Jamia Masjid were completely sealed with barricades and rolls of barbed wire, they said.  

MIRWAIZ DEFIES CURBS, DETAINED 

Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was placed under house arrest, tried to defy restrictions by coming out of his Nigeen residence here this afternoon and proceed towards Jamia Masjid. He was, however, detained by police.

Talking to media-persons before his detention, Mirwaiz said preventing people from offering Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid is the “worst form of State terrorism.”  After his release from Cheshmashahi Sub-Jail some days back, Mirwaiz had announced that he would break the “military siege” around Jamia Masjid on October 28 and offer prayers there.

Mirwaiz accused the government of “trampling” the religious rights of Muslims and “forcibly” barring them from offering Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid. “It’s height of repression and religious interference that the government, with the help of its forces, has been sealing the entire area around Jamia Masjid to prevent people from reaching there. The area turns into a garrison every Friday,” he said.  

“Imposing strict curfew and restrictions amid heavy deployment of forces across Kashmir gives the impression that government is at war with devotees whom it sees as a threat to the establishment. Such a negative attitude towards the majority community is extremely unfortunate especially when one sees the stark contrast in which other communities are treated and their religious sentiments respected.” 

Mirwaiz said facilitation and smooth conduct of the annual Amarnath Yatra by the ruling regime is “one such example.” 

“We believe in respecting religious sentiments of people across the board and have always welcomed the yatris. But double-standards of the government have come to the fore as there have been no Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid for 16 consecutive weeks,” he said. 

Mirwaiz also criticized the ruling regime for “crushing” the human and political rights of the people while continuing to carry out nocturnal raids and arresting youth, beating inmates and ransacking homes. 

“Kashmir is witnessing brutal rights violations. We salute the resilience of people who, despite braving all forms of repression, continue to remain steadfast,” he said.

Meanwhile, reports of pro-freedom protests after Friday prayers came in from Hyderpora, Peerbagh and Barzulla areas of uptown Srinagar. Evening clashes were reported from old Srinagar areas including Habba Kadal, Kania Kadal, Nawabazar and Fateh Kadal. Pertinently, Kashmir continued to observe complete shutdown for the 112th consecutive day. 

Late evening reports said some persons set ablaze a private vehicle of a PDP activist at Chinkral Mohalla, Habba Kadal in old Srinagar. 

SOUTH KASHMIR

Unidentified gunmen shot dead a woman at Batpora Nyaina village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday evening, police said. 

Beeba (50) wife of Yusuf Mattoo was fired upon by unknown assailants at around 8 pm at her residence at Batpora Nyaina, a police official said.  

Police said she was fired upon from point-blank range, causing injury in her abdomen and leg.

She was shifted to Sub-District Hospital Bijbehara where she was declared as brought dead.

Police and army reached the spot and cordoned off the area to nab the attackers.

Amid restrictions, freedom rallies were held in various areas of South Kashmir after Friday prayers while clashes were also seen. 

Reports said a pro-freedom march was also taken out in Ruhmoo, Muran and Litter villages of Pulwama. Thousands, they said, participated in a freedom procession in Litter village which was led by Tehreek-i-Hurriyat (TeH) district presidents for Shopian and Anantnag—Muhammad Yousuf Falahi and Mir Hafizullah. The leaders appealed to people to remain steadfast and “not get swayed by the propaganda launched by pro-India parties.” However, as the rally was on, forces reached the spot to arrest the TeH leaders who have been declared as “proclaimed offenders” by police. People resisted their arrest, resulting in clashes. 

“Forces lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets too,” reports said. They said both the leaders however managed to give forces a slip. 

Pro-freedom rallies were also taken out in Tral area of Pulwama district while a huge freedom procession was held in Seer area of Anantnag district, after Friday prayers. 

Strict restrictions were put in place in Shopian town. Forces had erected barricades at various places to foil any attempts at protests while Friday prayers were not allowed in Jamia Masjid, witnesses said. They, however, said a huge protest march was held in Tukiwangam village after Friday prayers. 

A similar rally was held in Qaimoh area in Kulgam district after Friday prayers. Violent clashes also erupted in Khudwani village of Qaimoh. Clashes also erupted in Tahab, Litter and Nikas-Hall villages of the district. 

“Forces pelted stones, lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets,” locals said. They said at least four persons, including a local photojournalist Vikar Syed were injured during the clashes in Tahab.   

Some persons, police said, also hurled a petrol bomb towards a CRPF party at Prichoo village, but there we no reports of any injuries. Minor clashes also erupted in Anchidora area of Anantnag town. A youth was arrested by police there. 

Late evening reports said clashes broke out at Haal area of Pulwama. 

Stone-pelting was also reported from village Hall where people accused local forces’ camp of using PAVA and teargas shells to provoke people. 

Meanwhile, evening clashes erupted at Namlabal, Pampore where two persons were detained, locals told Greater Kashmir.

Late evening reports said a private school building in Batagund Dooru in South Kashmir’s Verinag area was set ablaze by some persons. 

NORTH KASHMIR

Amid complete shutdown, clashes between youths and police were reported from different places in Baramulla district on Friday. In Old Town Baramulla, joint Friday prayers were offered in Qadeem Eidgah. After the prayers, a group of youths took out a pro-freedom march but cops deployed across a bridge fired scores of teargas shells towards the youth, triggering brief clashes on Cement Bridge. 

In Palhallan, soon after Friday prayers, a group of youth took out a freedom march. Reports said the protesting youth while trying to approach main highway were prevented by police, triggering clashes. Police lobbed scores of teargas shells and clashes continued for several hours.

According to reports, a group of youth took out a pro-freedom protest march in Nihalpora and Kalsari Pattan after Friday prayers. As protesting youth tried to march towards highway, they were intercepted by police near Bilal Colony, triggering clashes. Police lobbed scores of tear-gas shells and clashes continued till evening.  

Late evening reports said clashes took place in Hygam area of Baramulla after youth staged a pro-freedom rally. 

Reports from Sopore said amid imposition of Section 144 that bars assembly of four or more people, heavy deployment of forces was made across the town. Reports said clashes erupted at Jamia Qadeem after Friday prayers as forces used dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protestors.  Curbs were imposed in areas like Arampora, Muslimpeer, Mainbazar and main Chowk. 

Reports from Bandipora district said clashes erupted in Gulshan Chowk and Plan areas on Friday after police foiled a pro-freedom rally. Witnesses said people from Plan, Nowpora and Nibripora areas tried to gather at Gulshan Chowk after offering congregational Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid. However, forces lobbed dozens of teargas and sound shells to disperse the people, triggering clashes. Jamaat-i-Islami District President Bandipora was arrested by police in Sumlar village of the district. Hafiz Sikander Malik, 30, son of Abdul Gani Malik, of Gundpora Rampora, Bandipora was arrested while he was on way to Bandipora after offering Friday prayers there, police sources said. They said he was on the run for long. 

“He has many FIRs registered against him in Police Station Bandipora,” they said.

Meanwhile, residents of Ajas, Bazipora, Chimpenzpora and Matipora villages offered Friday congregational prayers in Eidgah Ajas. Later they held a peaceful rally in Ajas chowk amid pro-freedom slogans. The rally was addressed by several resistance leaders who asked people to remain steadfast during the ongoing freedom movement. The speakers denounced use of force against unarmed civilians and night raids carried out by government forces to arrest youth. The rally later culminated peacefully. 

Reports of clashes were also received from Kaloosa, Papchan and Ajar areas of Bandipora. Reports said a pro-freedom rally was carried out in Aloosa village after Friday congregational prayers. The rally was addressed by various resistance leaders. Reports said clashes took place in Lalpora, Khirhama and Trehgam areas of Kupwara district after Friday prayers.

CENTRAL KASHMIR

Reports said intense clashes broke out in Beerwah, Ompora and Sozeth villages of Budgam district where youth resorted to heavy stone-pelting which was retaliated by forces with teargas shelling. Seven youth sustained injuries in Sozeth area where locals alleged vandalism by forces.  Two youth were detained from Narbal where nocturnal raids were conducted by forces, triggering massive protests. Eight shops suffered intense damage in a mysterious blaze at Ompora, reports said. 

Reports from Ganderbal district said after Friday prayers, youth assembled outside Jamia Masjid at Preng in Kangan area and staged pro-freedom protests on Srinagar-Leh highway. However, police reached the spot and chased the protesters. Later, youth erected barricades on highway which were removed by forces.

Locals and traders at Beehama in Ganderbal town said they couldn’t offer Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Beehama market for the 16th consecutive Friday as authorities prevented them from entering the mosque.  Reports said two youth hurled two petrol bombs at Government School at Duderhama. However, the fire triggered by the bombs was doused well in time. 

POLICE VERSION

In an official statement, a police spokesman said: “Situation remained under control throughout Kashmir today till filling of this report. In view of Jamia Masjid Chalo call given by some separatist organizations, restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure in some parts of Srinagar.” 

“After Friday prayers some stone pelting incidents were reported from Srinagar, Pulwama, Kulgam and Sopore. At these places miscreants after Friday prayers assembled and pelted stones on Police and security force deployments. They were chased away. In Pulwama, miscreants lobbed a petrol bomb on police and security force deployment in Pirchoo area,” the statement said. “However, no one was injured in this incident.” 

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