Government imposes ‘undeclared curfew’ in Old City parts of Srinagar

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Srinagar

Government on Friday imposed “undeclared” restrictions in parts of Old City in Srinagar to thwart protests called by the resistance leadership.

Dr Farooq Lone, DC Srinagar informed Kashmir Life that the restrictions have been imposed in downtown areas under section 144. “It bars the assembly of four or more persons falling under the restricted areas.”

However, locals of the old city said that police vans early in the morning today using public address systems announced curfew.

No communication from any official from the civil administration had announced the imposition of curfew in old city parts, like in the past.

Pertinently, for the last five Fridays, government has not allowed congregational Friday prayers in the historic Jamia mosque. The move has drawn flak from various quarters terming it direct interference in religious matters.

On Thursday a meeting of Ulema and Imam’s of various mosques was held at Mirwaiz Manzil in Srinagar. A unanimous resolution was passed in the meeting terming the continuous lockdown of the Jamia Masjid by authorities as unacceptable and “direct interference in religious affairs.”

“Imposing strict curbs in Downtown areas on every Friday to prevent people from reaching to the grand masjid, caging Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is highly condemnable. Government must refrain from such an anti-Islam practice and ensure people are allowed to offer prayers at Jamia from now onwards,” the resolution read.

Jamia Masjid Srinagar. (KL File image: Bilal Bahadur)

Addressing the participants over phone, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Kashmir’s head priest and Hurriyat (m) chairperson said: “It has become a regular affair of the government and its forces that on every Friday entire Downtown is turned into a military zone, all roads sealed with barbed wires and gates of Jamia Masjid locked? It’s high time we rise to an occasion to condemn this direct interference in religious affairs,” he said.

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