Protests, Shutdown Against Sacrilegious Act in J-K

Curfew-like restrictions in Valley to foil separatists’ protests, no Friday prayers allowed in grand mosque

Published: 23rd October 2015 08:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2015 08:26 PM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR: The mountainous Bhaderwah and Kishtwar towns in Jammu and Kashmir witnessed protests and shutdown after people in the area allegedly found verses of Holy Quran written in the remains of burnt fire-crackers  while curfew-like restrictions were imposed in parts of Kashmir on Friday to prevent separatists’  planned protests against killing of 18-year-old trucker in October 9 mob attack in Udhampur following cow slaughtering rumours.

On the call of Anjuman-e-Islamia, Muslims of Bhaderwah town in Doda district observed complete shutdown today. All shops and business establishments of Muslims in the area remained closed.

The shutdown was called by Anjuman after verses of Holy Quran were found written in the remains of burnt fire-crackers yesterday.

The Anjuman alleged that Quranic verses were written on the paper used for making fire crackers. They were found in the town yesterday after fire crackers were burnt. 

People took to roads and staged protest demonstration. Chanting anti-government and pro-Islamic slogans,  the protestors blocked  vehicular movement and demanded a thorough probe into the sacrilegious act and punishment to the  people involved in manufacturing such crackers.

Top civil and police officials visited the spot and assured protestors of probing the incident and taking legal action against the owners of the cracker manufacturing factory.

The Kishtwar town also witnessed shutdown and people staged anti-government demonstrations against the sacrilegious act.

Meanwhile, curfew-like restrictions were imposed in parts of the Valley today to foil protests called by separatists against killing of 18-year-old trucker Zahid Rasool Bhat in a petrol bomb attack by a violent mob in Udhampur on October 9.

“The security restrictions were imposed in seven police station areas of Srinagar including Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Maisuma and Kralkhud to maintain law and order,” a police official said.

The police and paramilitary personnel had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads in the curfew-hit areas to prevent movement of people.

The cops also did not allow Friday prayers in historic grand mosque (Jamia Masjid) in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar.

“We were not allowed to venture out of our homes and move towards the Jamia Masjid to offer Friday prayers,” the locals said.

Moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had called for sit-in protest after Friday prayers today against killing of Zahid and growing incidents of intolerance and communal discord. He had also asked other separatist leaders including hardliner Syed Ali Geelani and J&K High Court Bar Association chief Mian Abdul Qayoom to join him in the sit-in.

Geelani had also called for protests after Friday prayers against the trucker’s murder.

Geelani, Mirwaiz, Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, and other separatist leaders have been placed under house arrest to prevent them from leading protests.

Police also foiled separatists’ march towards UN Observers Group at Sonwar in Srinagar by detained many separatist activists.

Authorities also continued to enforce curfew-like restrictions in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, where from Zahid hailed.

The youth defied restrictions at Mattan, Achabal and other areas and pelted stones on police and paramilitary personnel, who retaliated by lobbing tear smoke shells and resorting to heavy baton charge. The clashes continued for some time.

The Anantnag has been under siege since Sunday when Zahid succumbed to burn injuries in New Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital.


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