Srinagar: The historic Jamia Masjid this Friday continues to be under siege for the third consecutive Friday and sixteenth this year, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the head of the grand mosque told Kashmir Reader.
Eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader that authorities have laid barricades, and deployment from various directions of the mosque to waylaid any movement and prevent the congregation, one of the largest in the valley.
All the entry points leading to the mosque has been sealed, police question bystanders who attempt move towards the mosque. Shops and other business establishments remained shut. Traffic both public and private has been diverted to other areas
On Thursday, Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and Muhammad Yaseen Malik, had asked people to stage protest after the prayers. Jamia being the epicenter of the anti-India protests in the valley, has been shut to prevent the Mirwaiz from leading the prayers and protests.
The 15th century mosque built by the then-Muslim king Sultan Sikander has always been shut by the rulers to the rebellion. Previously, only the Sikh and Dogra rulers of the state are recorded to have closed the mosque for prayers for years together. In the period following the end of Dogra rule, the Masjid has witnessed intermittent brief periods of siege enforced by the state administration or New Delhi. But in 2016 uprising, the mosque was shut for months together.