Downtown Sealed, Friday Prayers Barred

Downtown Sealed, Friday Prayers Barred

8 October 2010
Rising Kashmir
Ishfaq Ahmad Shah

Srinagar: Despite the Hurriyat (G) giving a 'break' in its protest chart, the authorities Friday sealed the downtown area of Srinagar city by imposing strict curfew to prevent protests demonstrations after the Friday congregational prayers. Curfew was also reimposed in some parts of North Kashmirís Baramulla, Kupwara and Handwara districts. In Srinagar city, curfew was clamped in the areas falling under the police stations M R Gunj, Safakadal, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Batamaloo. However, restrictions were eased in some of the areas later in the day. People, however, staged peaceful protests in many areas of city, including Humhama, Hyderpora, Sheikhpora, Galwanpora, Channapora, Amira Kadal and other places, after the Friday congregational prayers and later dispersed peacefully. However, youths reportedly clashed with police and paramilitary troopers at Galwanpora and Khanyar area of the city. No one was injured in these clashes. On the other hand, people resumed normal work in other parts of city as schools, colleges, banks, shops and other business establishments remained open for the entire day. People were seen buying essential commodities and other products even as the government and private offices resumed normal work. The Hurriyat (G), spearheading the 'Quit JK Movement', in its protest calendar had asked people to resume normal work Friday. Fearing protests, the authorities prevented people from offering congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta. It is pertinent to mention here that during the almost four months of unrest in the Valley, people were allowed only four times to offer Friday prayers at the historic mosque. North Kashmir Curfew was clamped in Baramulla town, Delina, Pallhalan, Pattan, Kunzar and Tangmarg areas of district Baramulla, The Kupwara town, Trehgam and Kralpora areas of District Kupwara were also placed under curfew. The authorities had also imposed curfew in the main town, Chotipora and Kulangam areas of District Handwara. The volatile Sopore area also remained under strict curfew throughout the day. However no curfew was imposed in the Bandipora district. All entry points leading to the Old Town Baramulla were sealed with concertina wires and blockades put up at Old Bridge, Cement Bridge and Azadgunj Bridge. People staged peaceful protest demonstrations at Pattan. Protests and clashes were also reported from Ajas, Lidderpora, Gousia Market and Hajin areas of Bandipora district. People also staged peaceful protests in the interiors of Batpora and Arampora areas of Sopore town after the Friday prayers. People reportedly came onto the streets to protest after a police party allegedly barged into a house in Darzi Mohalla area of Kupwara to arrest a 'stone-throwing' youth and beat up the inmates. Other areas of north Kashmir witnessed a normal day. South Kashmir All the major towns of south Kashmir witnessed a normal day as per the Hurriyat protest calendar. No restrictions were put in place by the authorities either. However, people in many areas took to the streets and staged 'pro-freedom' demonstrations at Islamabad, Pulwama town, Shopian and few areas of Tral township. After the Friday congregational prayers, people assembled outside the Rehet Dedi Masjid and Jamiat-e-Ahlihadees Masjid in Islamabad town and staged 'pro-freedom' demonstrations. The protesters later dispersed peacefully. In Shopian, youths resorted to stone-pelting after police stopped them from staging a protest demonstration near the Deputy Commissionerís Office in the main town. Protests and clashes between youths and paramilitary troopers were also reported from Pulwama main town. Clashes were on last reports came in.


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