Curbs relaxed in Srinagar parts today, Jamia siege continues for 12th week |KNO

Clashes erupt in Habba Kadal: four shops gutted in Batamaloo blaze

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, Oct 25 (KNO): Authorities once again barred congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid for the 12th consecutive week even as curbs were eased out in Srinagar parts, first time since August 5. The restrictions across Kashmir were imposed on August 05, when the government in centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (Article 370) and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories. After the improvement in situation, the restrictions were lifted but continued on Fridays to thwart post-Friday prayers protest. However, after 11 consecutive weeks, the restrictions were relaxed in Srinagar areas, but the police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in strength, witnesses said, adding that the Old City areas witnessed movement of traffic and pedestrians throughout the day. Nonetheless, locals told the wire service –Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the authorities yet again disallowed the mandatory Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid. “All the four gates of Jamia Masjid remained locked for the 12th consecutive Friday,” witnesses said, adding that the authorities barred all the prayers at the grand Masjid since August 05. Meanwhile, clashes erupted between youth and forces in Habba Kadal locality in the morning hours today, witnesses said, adding that scores of youth appeared in the locality during the ‘morning deal’ and went ‘berserk’. Witnesses said that soon after the police reached the spot, the youth pelted them with stones. In the afternoon, scores of youth were arrested by the police while a youth tried to evade the arrest following which his father was detained by the police, local sources from Habba Kadal said. They said the family has been asked the man will be released only after his son allegedly involved in stone pelting will be brought to the police station. Moreover, four shops were in gutted in a mysterious fire incident in Batamaloo area of Srinagar in the intervening night of Thursday-Friday. Sources said that the shops were completely gutted in the blaze while the cause of fire was being ascertained. However, police has registered a case in this regard and investigation into the matter was going on. Pertinently, Jamia Masjid’s head cleric and Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continued to remain under house detention. Besides, Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani also remained under house detention. Several other pro-freedom leaders including Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah and others continued to remain lodged at different jails. The Kashmir based mainstream politicians including three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti continued to remain under detention since August 05, 2019. Meanwhile, uncertainty across Kashmir continued for 82nd straight day with all the shops and other business establishments remaining closed to protest against the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. The public transport remained off the roads while a vast number of private vehicles were seen plying across Kashmir. Pertinently, the prepaid mobile services as well as the internet including broadband services continued to remain suspended across Kashmir. The postpaid mobile services were restored by the government on Monday noon after 70-day-long suspension. Moreover, the train services from Baramulla-Banihal continued to remain suspended since August 05 as ‘security reason’. (KNO)