Srinagar, Jul 13: Friday prayers were not allowed for the second successive week in the historic Jamia Masjid in the downtown, where large number of security forces and state police personnel have been deployed since early this morning.
Official sources said that restrictions were imposed under section 144 CrPc in many areas in Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and downtown as a precautionary measure on Friday, when separatist had given a ‘Naqshband Sahib Challo’ call to commemorate martyrs of 1931 on their death anniversary.
All the roads leading to Jamia Masjid remained closed with barbed wire. Chairman of moderate HC Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq — who was detained after he defied house arrest restrictions — addresses congregation every Friday in the historic mosque. Roads leading to Martyrs grave yard at Naqashband sahib shrine were also sealed and only politicians and government officials were being allowed to pay tributes there.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for ‘Naqshband Sahib Challo’ on Friday to commemorate the martyrs on their 87th death anniversary.
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, alleging that nobody was being allowed to enter the area.
However, prayers were offered in the Valley, barring in mosques on main roads in the areas where restrictions were imposed.
Friday prayers were offered at Hazratbal shrine, which houses the holy Relic of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), on the bank of Dal Lake though the number of devotees was again very less as compared to even normal days as people could not come from other parts of the valley fearing trouble.
Reports of offering of Friday prayers were also received from other parts of the valley.