Srinagar Shuts Against ‘Atrocities’ in Jamia Masjid, KU



Nowhatta Shutdown on Saturday
A deserted view of Nowhatta area which houses historic Jamia Masjid in Old city on Saturday. (Pic by: Bilal Bahadur)

Summer Capital of Jammu and Kashmir observed a complete shutdown on Saturday against the alleged police atrocities in Jamia Masjid on Friday and in Kashmir University on Thursday.

The worshippers post-Friday prayers accused police of “desecrating” the historic Jamia Masjid by firing tear gas shells inside the Jamia.

At Kashmir University on Thursday, where students were demanding release of a student of English department, Muzamil Dar, detained by police last Monday evening outside the varsity campus, the police resorted to lathi-charge and fired aerial shots to disperse the students.

Following huge protests, Police that day evening issued a statement that Dar was arrested for having alleged militant links. It also said that to contain protests in the varsity, police had to fire Flash Bangs.

To contain the tempers from skyrocketing, the KU administration suspended class work for two days besides asking boarders to leave the campus sine die. The girl students alleged that the KU provost reportedly abused them before showing them door.

Later Friday evening, senior Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Shah and JKLF chief Yasin Malik called for shutdown in the district to protest the police “highhandedness”.

Reports said that following Friday’s violent clashes in Nowhatta area, SDPO Khanyar, Parvaiz Ahmad has been transferred to Udhampur.

Schools, Colleges, business establishments remain closed while attendance in government offices remained thin. The city roads witnessed very thin transport movement.

Reports and witnesses this afternoon said that stone pelting and teargas shelling started in Maisuma and Gojwara areas. “Heavy stone pelting incidents triggered in Gojwara area,” a local said.

Valley’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who leads Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid had decided to lead a protest march against the “desecration” of Jamia Masjid but was put under house arrest Friday late evening.

A deserted view of Kashmir University campus on Saturday following after KU admin suspended classwork following protests on Thursday.
A deserted view of Kashmir University campus on Saturday following after KU admin suspended classwork following protests on Thursday. (Pic by: Bilal Bahadur)

Meanwhile, Kashmir lawyers’ body condemned the use of force by police against Kashmir University students protesting against arrest of varsity student.

The lawyer’s body spokesperson said that the Bar also condemned the act of vice-chancellor Prof Khurshid for allegedly permitting the university police to fire gunshots in air and letting them to beat the girl students with batons, “It is the worst kind of state terrorism.”

Demanding immediate release of Muzamil Dar, Bar impressed upon the university authorities “not to convert the university into concentration camp and not to play the second fiddle to the police in torturing, teasing and humiliating the students by gagging their voices and getting them falsely implicated in criminal cases and thereby spoiling their career.”

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