Friday prayers not allowed in Jamia Masjid

Friday prayers not allowed in Jamia Masjid
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Srinagar, Apr 13: No Friday prayers were allowed for the second successive week in the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar, where curfew-like restrictions remained imposed since Thursday to prevent any law and order problem following call by separatists to hold protests after prayers against civilian killings.
Police said restrictions under section 144 CrPC have been imposed in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of police station M R Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Khanyar and Rainawari in the downtown and Shehar-e-Khas (SeK ).
All roads leading to Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, remained closed and the main gates of the historic mosque, where Mirwaiz addresses Friday congregation every week, were locked. Mirwaiz was placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure in view of the death of four civilians in security force action in Kulgam on Wednesday.
A large number of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed outside the Masjid and adjoining areas to stop any movement on the roads. “There was also no ‘Azaan’ (call for prayers) in the historic Masjid today,” local residents said, adding that nobody was allowed to enter the area.
However, prayers were offered in the Valley, barring mosques on main roads in the areas where restrictions were imposed. People offered prayers in mosques in the interior areas in restricted areas.
Friday prayers were offered at Hazratbal shrine, which houses the holy Relic of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), on the bank of Dal Lake. Reports of offering of Friday prayers were also received from other parts of the valley.
Meanwhile, security forces remained deployed in strength in entire valley as Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had asked people to hold demonstrations after Friday prayers in their respective areas against the civilian killings in Kulgam. The JRL had called for a strike on Thursday against these killings.
Four youths died and several others were injured when security forces allegedly opened fire and fired pellets to disperse demonstrators, who tried to march towards an area where an encounter, in which an Army soldier was killed, was going on. Both the trapped militants managed to escape.