Amid restrictions in parts of Srinagar city and Sopore town, complete shutdown was observed in Valley on Friday to pay homage to Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was secretly hanged and buried in Delhi’s Tihar jail in 2013.
Authorities imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPc in areas falling under police stations Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal, MR Gunj, Maisuma and Kralkhud in downtown and uptown Srinagar.
The restrictions were imposed to maintain law and order in view of shutdown called by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to commemorate Guru’s death anniversary.
Guru, a native of Doabgah village in Sopore, was convicted in 2001 parliament attack case and was secretly hanged and buried inside Tihar Jail on February 9, 2013.
The security restrictions were also imposed in Guru’s hometown in Sopore.
Police and CRPF men had placed concertina wires and barricades on main roads in downtown Srinagar and Sopore to restrict public movement and foil protests.
The youths defied restrictions at Nawa Kadal and Rajouri Kadal areas of downtown Srinagar and clashed with the force personnel. Chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, the protestors pelted stones on the force personnel. The cops fired tear smoke shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse the protestors.
Clashes were also reported from Natipora area of uptown Srinagar after Friday congregational prayers.
Authorities also disallowed Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar today.
A local resident said people were not allowed to move towards Jamia Masjid by forces, who had sealed all roads leading to the mosque.
“All gates of the mosque were locked by the force personnel and people were not allowed to offer prayers,” he said.
It was for the 4th time this year that Friday prayers were disallowed at Jamia.
Complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir. All shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic was off the roads.
Train services were suspended for the day due to security reasons, an official said.
Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani continued to remain under house arrest at his Hyderpora residence while Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was also kept under house custody at his Nageen residence.
JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik is lodged in central Jail, Srinagar. He was arrested on Wednesday.
Tehreek-e-Hurriyat general secretary Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, a close aide of Geelani, remained under house arrest while Hurriyat (G) spokesman G A Gulzar and other separatist leader and activists were also detained.
Police also raided residence of Dukhtarn-e-Millat chairperson Asiya Andrabi. However, she was not present at her home.
A group of JKLF activists took out a protest rally at Abi Guzar area and staged a protest. While carrying posters of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, they chanted pro-freedom slogans and demanded handing over of mortal remains of both the leaders to their families.
“Guru sacrificed his life for a cause. We will continue to follow the mission of Guru till we achieve our goal of freedom,” said JKLF leader Noor Mohammad Kalwal, who was leading the protest.