Srinagar, Oct 12: Friday prayers were not allowed in the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar, where curfew-like restrictions were imposed on Friday in view of strike called by separatists against the killing of scholar-turned-militant Mannan Wani and his associate in an encounter in Kupwara.
Official sources told TNN that restrictions under section 144 CrPc were imposed on Friday within the areas falling under five police stations of Srinagar district, including Khanyar, Nowhatta, Safakadal, MR Gunj, Rainawari in downtown to prevent protests.
All the roads leading to Jamia Masjid, where chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq addresses congregation every Friday, remained closed with barbed wire.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for strike on Friday against the killing of Wani and his associate Ashiq Hussain Zargar.
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, 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.