Srinagar: The curfew in a vast area of Srinagar on Friday did serve its larger purpose, which was to prevent anti-India protests and imminent celebrations on Pakistan’s Independence Day, but it did not succeed fully, as pro-resistance individuals and groups hoisted Pakistani flags, burst firecrackers, distributed sweets and sung the Pakistani national anthem.
Roads had been blocked with razor wire or just by parking armoured vehicles along the width of the roads in old city where pro-Pakistan sentiment is often expressed by youths by waving Pakistani flags even at the risk of imprisonment.
Also, tens of hundreds of policemen and paramilitary soldiers, who had been deployed in the areas that come under the jurisdiction of five police stations in old city and Maisuma area uptown Lal Chowk, ensured that people stayed indoors.
Celebratory messages and pictures congratulating Pakistan on its independence day, along with a video of veiled members of Dukharan-e-Millat singing the Pakistani national anthem inside a room went viral on social networking sites.
The curfew was stricter in Nowhatta area, where anti-India and pro-freedom demonstrations are routine. No prayers were held at the largest mosque in the Valley, the Jamia Masjid, because of curfew.
A group of youths, chanting pro-Pakistan and pro-Islam slogans, appeared in Main Town Hajin in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district early Friday morning and hoisted Pakistani flags on electricity poles and buildings, witnesses told Kashmir Reader.
The youths also burst firecrackers to express their joy on the country’s Independence.
“The police and army removed the flags instantly and chased away the boys. However, after sometime, the youth again hoisted the flags to celebrate the Independence of the Muslim nation,” said Abdul Ahad, a resident of Hajin.
Pakistani flags were also hoisted in Bandipora town, but police removed them promptly. Such flag hoisting scenes were also witnessed in Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama districts.