Srinagar: The historic Jamia Masjid situated in Nowhatta area of Old city here was locked down by the authorities on Friday to bar people from offering mandatory congregational prayers here.
Amid restrictions in old city areas, all four gates of the Jamia Masjid remained locked on Friday as a precautionary measure.
Trade bodies Kashmir Economic Alliance and Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) – had called for a strike today against the killings in south Kashmir on Sunday last.
Earlier, the Valley observed a shutdown for four consecutive days to protest against the killings that occurred during the encounter in South Kashmir’s Anantnag and Shopian district on last Sunday.
At least 20 people lost their lives during the separate encounters that include 13 militants, four civilians and three Army troopers.
Besides imposing curbs on offering mandatory Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid, the authorities also imposed strict restrictions in Srinagar, Kangan and Shopian areas to thwart any possible protest called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
Police in the morning hours informed people about the restrictions and sought their cooperation in this regard.
“Your #police seeks cooperation of citizens for maintaining order and ensuring peace. Today you will find #restrictions in some parts of city #Srinagar , Kangan & Shopian town it is a cause of inconvenience, we assure these control orders are temporary. For #assistance pl dial 100,” police tweeted in the morning.
Witnesses said that the police and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were deployed on the roads since the wee hours of this morning. “The forces had erected temporary barricades on the roads which halted the pedestrian as well as the vehicular movement in downtown areas,” they added.
Besides, a complete shutdown was also observed across the Valley on Friday.
All the shop, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed throughout the day while the vehicular movement was also thin.
The educational institutions were closed in view of the students protest on Thursday against the Shopian carnage.
The students of various colleges took to streets to protest against Shopian killings and also resorted to stone pelting at various places during which two cops and protesting students sustain injuries.
Station House Officer (SHO) Nigeen, Manzoor Ahmad sustained injuries during the clashes between youth and forces on the foreshore road on Friday when some miscreants hurled a stone on his vehicle which hit the official on his head.
The injured cop according to the police officials was being treated in the hospital.
“Our colleague SHO Nageen Insp Manzoor got injured today morning in a stone pelting incident. He is being treated in hospital. We pray for his speedy recovery,” Kashmir zone police tweeted this afternoon.
Meanwhile, clashes also erupted at various places including Soura, Charar-i-Sharief, Palhalan, Pulwama and Trehgam area of Kupwara district.
Six persons sustained pellet wounds in Shopian. They have been hospitalized. Around 15 persons and at least a dozen policemen including SHO Nageen sustained injuries during clashes.
Among the injured, a woman identified as Shakeela Begum (45) suffered injuries at Trehgam, Kupwara while as Abdul Rehman Dar (56) was injured in Soura, Srinagar.
Clashes erupted in Soura area of Srinagar after Friday prayers today, witnesses said, adding that soon after the culmination of Friday prayers at various mosques in the area, people took to streets to protest the recent killings across Kashmir.
The protesters mostly youth also pelted stones on forces during which forces used tear gas canisters to disperse them.
Clashes also erupted in central Kashmir’s Charar-i-Sharief township post Friday prayers.
Scores of youth assembled near shrine and tried to march towards town amid pro freedom slogans. However, police intercepted the protesters who later pelted stones on forces.
The police deployed in the area used tear gas shells to disperse them.
Reports said that the locals earlier offered funeral in absentia for those who were killed in Kashmir.
In Palhallan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the youth took to streets and pelted stones on forces who used tear smoke shells to disperse the agitating youth. During the clashes in these areas, scores of youth also sustained injuries.
The clashes also erupted in Trehgam area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district after forces allegedly barged into Bunpora locality and damaged the property besides thrashing locals.
Reports quoting local sources said that “on Friday morning cops barged into the residential house of village headman Bashir Ahmad Malik in Bunpora thrashing inmates including his wife.”
Sources said that Malik’s wife received a minor injury in her head from baton blows and she was given first aid and then shifted to hospital for treatment.
“The policemen also smashed windows and panes of houses,” an eyewitness said.
The police action triggered protests in the neighborhood as scores of locals poured on to the roads aided with batons to hold a demonstration against the police.
Furthermore, police used force to quell the protests. Sources said that police resorted to teargas shelling as the youth threw stones on the forces personnel.
Meanwhile, on the call given by JRL, scores of its activists and leaders staged protest at Abi Guzar here and chanted slogans against the killings.
The JRL said condemned the killings and imposing restrictions to foil the protests.
Meanwhile, scores of students of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar staged a protest against the killings here. The students wearing white aprons were holding placards reading slogans.
The student protesters were joined by doctors and paramedics in GMC premises amid pro-freedom slogans.
The students also adopted the resolution by JRL against the ongoing repression in Kashmir.
“We organized this protest to show that we support the ongoing freedom movement and we can’t let our brothers die every day”, said a group of students.
Notably, train services that resumed after four consecutive days on Thursday were suspended again today.
Officials said that in view of the security measure, the train services were suspended for today.