Shutdown in old city of Srinagar

Mirwaiz, Yasin lead separate protests

Shutdown in old city of Srinagar

MAJID NABI

SRINAGAR, May 26: Complete shutdown was observed in old city today against the alleged use of force by police on people at historic Jama Masjid on Friday. A protest rally was also organised by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to protest police action.

The call for shutdown was given by Jamia Masjid Traders Federation and Maharaj Gunj Beopra Mandal.

Shops, business establishments, schools and colleges remain closed while traffic was off the roads. Thin attendance of employees was witnessed in banks and semi-government offices. The situation however remained peaceful by and large in otherwise volatile city.

A peaceful march was also held at Jamia Masjid on the call of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) against use of excessive force including pellets and tear smoke shelling by police on worshipers.

Chairman of his faction Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik led the rally which after marching through many areas of downtown culminated peacefully at Jamia Market.

Addressing people outside Jama Masjid, Mirwaiz alleged that Jama Masjid which has been the epitome religious and political activities is being targeted to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere. He said the mosque has been witnessing such attacks on its sanctity since 1947

Mirwaiz warned the state and the central government to refrain from deploying forces in and around the mosque that provokes and mobilize the youth.

“These curfews, restrictions and ban on worshippers are aimed at choking the political space to the people of Kashmir. Since Jama Masjid has remained an epicenter of political activities, it is being targeted to chock political and religious space to the people,” said Mirwaiz.

Mirwaiz cautioned the government against deploying forces on Fridays saying there would no option left with people other than hitting streets incase curbs, restrictions and lockdown of grand mosque continued.

He said the government will never succeed to fulfill its dream of denying people to perform their religious duties nor does the separatist leadership cow down to any pressure tactic.

“I ask people to gather in large numbers on coming Friday, we will see as to what will be response of the government. In case the trend continues we will collectively come on roads to protest,” Mirwaiz added.

Meanwhile activists of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) this afternoon assembled at Press Enclave here and held sit-in protest demanding release of all political prisoners lodged in different jails within and outside state.

Carrying banners and placards which read “release all political prisoners, bring all Kashmiri prisoners back to Kashmir” the protesters demand unconditional release of all political prisoners.

Demanding release of Muslim League Chairman, Masarat Alam Bhat, DeM Chairperson Asiya Andrabi and DM Chairman Mohammad Qasim Faktoo, JKLF Chief Mohammad Yasin Malik said such tactics of the government won’t affect the movement at all.

He accused the government of kidnapping separatist leadership and Kashmiri youth and then slaps them with AFSPA.

Malik also castigated the state government for putting curbs on the movement of separatist leaders and placing them under continuous house detention.

“We want to convey to the government of India that the freedom fighters won’t be cowed down by abductions, bullets or the police hooliganism,” Malik said adding that had freedom fighters been frightened during struggle for freedom from Britishers, India would not have achieved freedom.

News Updated at : Sunday, May 27, 2018