Restrictions likely in Srinagar today
SRINAGAR: Authorities would impose restrictions in parts of Srinagar city on Saturday as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of strike call given by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to commemorate Martyrs day.
The Martyrs day is commemorated in memory of those who were killed on July 13, 1931. The authorities also barred people from offering Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid in the city.
Sources said the restrictions will be imposed in downtown areas of the city—the areas prone to protests and stone pelting—to prevent any untoward incident. Also the train service between Banihal and Baramulla will remain suspended in view of the shutdown call.
They said that heavy contingents of government forces would be deployed at all points of the downtown to prevent any assembly of public or procession towards the Martyrs grave yard located at Hazrat Khawja Naqshband Sahab shrine (RA) in downtown.
An official said that all measures including security have been taken to safeguard the public life and property in view of shutdown.
On Thursday, JRL, an amalgam of top separatist leaders comprising Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and incarcerated Mohammad Yasin Malik, called for a complete shutdown on July 13 to pay tributes to the martyrs of July 13, 1931.
July 13 is observed as a state holiday. The top officials of the state traditionally have visited the graveyard in the past to pay tributes to 22 Kashmiris who were killed on this day in 1931 by the forces of then Dogra ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, outside Central Jail Srinagar.
It would be closely watched that whether the incumbent Governor, Satya Pal Malik would visit the graveyard as there is no elected government in place in the state. Last year, the then Governor NN Vohra had stayed away from visiting Martyrs’ graveyard. However, previous chief ministers of the state had been visiting to pay tributes to the martyrs.
Meanwhile, authorities barred Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid and placed Mirwaiz, who is chief cleric of the mosque, under house detention.
Contingents of forces were deployed around Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta while all entry points were sealed to prevent people from marching towards the mosque for the Friday congregational prayers there.
A Hurriyat (M) spokesman said Mirwaiz could not chair the meeting of Awami Action Committee (AAC) and Hurriyat at Mirwaiz Manzil regarding the march to martyr’s graveyard at Naqashband Sahib (RA) shrine, Khawaja Bazar to pay tributes to martyrs of July 13, 1931.
“It is a highly undemocratic aimed at throttling the freedom of speech and expression,” it said.