The authorities on Friday disallowed congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, apparently anticipating protests after the prayers over the recent sentencing of JKLF chief Yasin Malik in a terror funding case.
A spokesman of the Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid, a body that runs the affairs of the mosque, alleged the magistrate and police personnel informed the staff of the grand mosque that no Friday prayers would be allowed. The main gate of the grand masjid was locked by them, the management said. “Men and women, who had come to offer Friday prayers, were turned away. It’s very unfortunate,” it said.
Locals in parts of the old city alleged that mobile Internet services were deliberately kept patchy throughout the day, with several subscribers of different cellular companies alleging “an unannounced Internet blackout”. The authorities, however, neither reacted to the allegations made by the mosque management nor to the Internet shutdown.
A spontaneous shutdown was observed by the shopkeepers in Maisuma locality in Srinagar. JKLF chief Yasin Malik is from the area. Around 10 protesters were arrested in the past 24 hours after they participated in a street protest against the verdict of Malik on May 25.
Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, who visited the family of artist Amreen Bhat who was killed by militants in Budgam, blamed the Centre’s “muscular” policy for the growing incidents of violence in Kashmir. She also criticised the Lieutenant-Governor’s administration for not visiting the family or announcing any compensation.