Friday restrictions put entire Old City in great distress: Mirwaiz

Srinagar: Chairman of Jamia Masjid Auqaf, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Wednesday denounced the government policy of ‘converting Jamia into a military garrison every Friday’.

“It seems to be 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 according to the statement issued here said.

He said fear and intimidation is used as a state policy against the people including those living in downtown and every Friday, the move to deploy large number of armed forces around Jamia masjid amounts to direct interference into people’s religious affairs and rights reflecting scant respect for their religious sentiments.

Mirwaiz said restrictions and blocking of roads with barbed wires every Friday, puts the entire population of downtown including school children into ‘a great distress’ and difficulty, which is a big concern.

He said that government should stop this harassment and desist from its policy of forces deployment and restrictions in and around the Jamia Masjid area

Meanwhile, the statement said that a meeting of members of Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar was held today at Mirwaiz Manzil Rajouri Kadal.

Members from Jamia Masjid Traders Association and Shaheed-e-Milat market also participated in the meeting.

The participants condemned 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 as the Jamia masjid is also a spiritual centre for the people of Kashmir.

Auqaf observed that, people from far off places from all over Kashmir travel long distances to reach Jamia Masjid as they have an emotional and spiritual connect to it and to prostrate before Almighty Allah to seek his forgiveness and solace for self.

“However every Friday since early morning, a heavy contingent of forces is deployed at Nowhata 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 statement added.

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