November 2016 News

Day 133: Friday Prayers Disallowed At Jamia For 19th Week

18 November 2016
Rising Kashmir
Mir Liyaqat Ali

Srinagar: Authorities disallowed Friday congregational prayers for the 19th consecutive week at Jamia Masjid Srinagar while life in Valley remained crippled for the 133rd day. At least six persons sustained injuries in clashes in Tahab area of South Kashmir's Pulwama district while police arrested Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) leader from Anantnag. Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in Nowhatta area from early this morning to enforce curfew-like restrictions and prevent people from moving towards Jamia Masjid. The cops had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads to prevent movement of people. They had sealed all the lanes, bylanes and roads leading to Jamia Masjid and did not allow people to move towards the mosque to offer Friday prayers. 'I wanted to offer prayers at Jamia Masjid. However, I was not allowed by the cops to move towards the grand mosque. They asked me to offer Friday prayers at any local mosque other than Jamia Masjid,' said Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Nowhatta. Due to tough security restrictions, the cops did not allow Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid. It was for the 19th week that Friday prayers were disallowed at Jamia. The last Friday prayers offered at Jamia was on July 8, the day 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by forces in South Kashmir's Kokernag area. However, authorities today allowed Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid Shopian after 18 weeks. People thronged the mosque today to offer Friday prayers. Senior separatist leader and president Anjuman Sharian Shian Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi, who has been under house arrest from past four months, was again barred from offering Friday congregational prayers at Markazi Imambara Budgam for 19th week. Earlier, this week an NGO Centre for Peace and Protection of Human Rights had filed a petition before SHRC seeking intervention of the Commission in allowing people to offer Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid Srinagar and Jamia Masjid Shopian. The shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed across the Valley for the 133rd day today. Kashmir has been observing unrest and shutdown after killing of Burhan Wani on July 8. At least 94 people have been killed, more than 13000 injured and over 8000 arrested in last four months of unrest in the Valley. Meanwhile, clashes erupted between youth and force personnel at Tahab area in South Kashmir's Pulwama district after Friday prayers. The police and paramilitary personnel fired tear smoke and PAVA shells to disperse the protestors. At least six people sustained injuries in the forces action. According to locals, a youth identified as Aman Farooq sustained head injury after being hit by a teargas shell. 'Another teenage Adil Ahamd Ganai from Tahab village felt unconscious after PAVA shelling by forces. He was shifted to a nearby hospital,' they said. Dozens of youth took to roads in Narabal and Mochua areas of central Kashmir's Budgam district after Friday prayers. Chanting pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, the protestors were demanding an end to killings, release of arrested persons and resolution of the Kashmir. The police and paramilitary personnel intercepted the protestors at both the places. The cops fired tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones on them. The clashes continued for some time. The clashes between youth and cops also took place in Sopore area of Barramulla district. Clashes were also reported from Bijbehara town of Anantnag, Qaimoh area of Kulgam district. People took out pro-freedom rallies at Rohmoo village of Pulwama district and Shermal area of Shopian district. Meanwhile, a senior Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) leader Mir Hafizullah, who was evading arrest from over two months, was arrested from a pro-freedom gathering in Achabal area of Anantnag district by police men in civvies. According to sources, Mir was leading a pro-freedom rally outside local Jamia Masjid in Hakhoora village of Achabal area when police men wearing pherans appeared and apprehended him. 'People mistook the police men in civvies for militants. The cops fired shots in air and then lobbed tear smoke shells and whisked away Mir,' locals told Rising Kashmir. He was released only a few days prior to Burhan Wani's killing on July 8 after serving a year under the infamous Public Safety Act (PSA). A senior police official confirmed Mir's arrest. 'He was wanted in at least 25 cases since the present unrest began in valley. At least 25 FIRs stand registered against him in different police stations across south Kashmir,' he said. Sources said Mir was presently lodged at Achabal police station and may be shifted to Joint Interrogation Center (JIC) Anantnag. 'He might be booked under PSA and shifted to a jail outside the valley,' they said. Police had been raiding Mir's residence regularly since last few months. His brother is already under detention and his family members have been accusing police of continuous harassment.