Srinagar: Government today once again disallowed Friday congregation prayers for the 19th consecutive week by imposing restrictions in Old City while rest of the Valley observed a shutdown on 133rd day of mass uprising.
To stop people from offering Friday prayers, authorities imposed strict restrictions in entire downtown areas falling under five police station areas. Since early morning, thousands of police and CRPF men were deployed all across Srinagar and all roads leading to Jamia Masjid were sealed with concertina wires
According to locals, the forces didn’t allow them to venture out of their homes. Some locals of Old City alleged that forces didn’t allow them to move towards mosques to offer Friday prayers. In areas like Habba Kadal, Kani Kadal, Gaw Kadal and Maisuma, strict restrictions were imposed on the movement of people. The other areas of city were also under thick security blanket.
Massive clashes erupted between youth and government forces at Rawalpora and Safa Kadal areas of Srinagar. Reports said soon after Friday prayers, scores of youths took to streets and staged anti-India protests. They hurled rocks on government forces who retaliated by firing teargas shells and pepper canisters. The clashes continued till late hours and police fired in air to disperse the demonstrators.
The clashes and protests amid restrictions and lockdown were reported from Tahab, Newa and Rohmoo areas of Pulwama district in south Kashmir and similar clashes were also reported from Anantnag and Shopian areas. Reports said anti-India clashes also erupted at Sopore, Baramulla, Bandipora and Palhallan areas of north Kashmir during which some persons received minor injuries.
A police official said barring few incidents of stone-pelting, the situation across Kashmir remained peaceful. He said prayers at Jamia Masjid Shopian were allowed this Friday. (GNS)