Anjuman-e-Auqaf slams govt for deploying forces around Jamia on Fridays

SRINAGAR: A meeting of members of Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar was held on Wednesday at Mirwaiz Manzil Rajouri Kadal, a party statement issued here said.
It said the members from Jamia Masjid Traders Association and Shaheed-e-Milat market participated in the meeting which strongly criticised the government for continuously deploying police and paramilitary forces around the Jamia Masjid on Fridays “under a well planned conspiracy to prevent large gatherings at Grand Mosque and damage and weaken its centrality”.
Auqaf said the Jamia Masjid is a spiritual centre for the people of Kashmir and people from all over Kashmir travel long distances to reach the grand mosque as they have an emotional and spiritual attachment with it.
“However, every Friday since early morning, a heavy contingent of forces is deployed at Nowhatta Chowk and at all entry and exit points of the Masjid which instills fear among the people who frequent the mosque and causes them great inconvenience,” the meeting observed.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Jamia Masjid Auqaf and Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also denounced the government policy of converting Jamia Masjid into a “military garrison” every Friday.
“It seems a well drafted plan to deploy large number of forces to prevent me from addressing the Friday gatherings on one hand, and to stop people from reaching Jamia, on the other,” Mirwaiz said.
He said fear and intimidation is used as a state policy against the people including those living in downtown and the move to deploy large number of armed forces around Jamia Masjid on every Friday amounts to direct interference into people’s religious affairs and rights.