Srinagar: Government forces on Friday foiled Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s scheduled programme to give the Ashura sermon, by detaining him at his Nigeen residence.
The authorities also disallowed congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.
Mirwaiz, according to the spokesperson of Hurriyat (M), was scheduled to deliver the annual Ashura sermon at Alam Sahab in Narwara area of Eidgah after giving the Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid.
Eyewitnesses said that government forces sealed all entry and exit points to Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta. They said that the forces erected iron barricades and concertina wires to block the movement of people towards Jamia Masjid.
Locals of Nowhatta told Kashmir Reader that pedestrian movement remained blocked till the time of prayer was over.
The spokesperson of Hurriyat (M) said that a contingent of police reached the residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Nigeen in the pre-noon hours and detained him inside.
It was for the 14th Friday this year that authorities disallowed Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid. The Hurriyat (M) spokesperson said that sealing the Jamia Masjid time and again reflects the “dictatorial approach” of the rulers and their least respect for religious sentiments of people.
Meanwhile, GA Gulzar, the spokesperson of Hurriyat (G), said that a constituent of the amalgam, Tehreek-e-Wahdat-ul-Islami, on Friday took out a Muharram procession from Abi Guzar in Srinagar. The procession was led by TeWI chairperson Nisar Ahmad Rather, he said.
He said that police used “brutal force” against the mourners in the procession and detained dozens of them, including Rather, at MA Road. Gulzar condemned the police action and termed it “highhandedness”.