Frequent locking down of Jamia Masjid Sgr aimed at weakening its centrality, significance: JRL

Srinagar

Joint Resistance Leadership comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have expressed strong resentment and concern over the repeated and arbitrary imposition of curfew and restrictions in downtown Srinagar and lockdown of central Jamia Masjid by the Government.

In a statement the resistance leaders said locking down the central Jamia Masjid especially on Fridays to bar people from all across the valley to assemble and offer prayers there, is aimed at weakening the centrality and significance of the grand mosque. The historic Jamia Masjid is not only the spiritual centre of confluence for the people of Kashmir but also representative of their political consciousness and aspirations.

“It is a deliberate bid to silence the voice of truth and justice raised from the pulpit of this historic mosque for decades and resonated by the people, that all roads are blocked with rolls of concertina wires and deployment of the large number of police and paramilitary forces takes place on Fridays converting the whole area into a garrison and undermining the sanctity of the mosque.”

On the other hand, the leaders said, “the frequent imposition of curfews and restrictions has taken a serious toll on the trade and the other business activities of the people in downtown, which is the oldest business hub of Kashmir, and they are incurring huge losses. Students of the area are also made to suffer as they are caged inside and their institutions locked out.”

The leadership reiterated that such “oppressive measures” will not succeed in crushing the people’s spirit. “People of Kashmir are offering priceless sacrifices for the right to self-determination and New Delhi should acknowledge the ground realities in Kashmir and take concrete steps to resolve the issue as per the will and aspirations of people.”

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