The Hurriyat (M) says that the historic Jamia Masjid will be closed for further prayers until the blood spilled on its floors is cleaned.
“The mosque has been closed for further prayers, as there is blood spilled all over the floor. The same blood which has oozed from the wounds of those youth who were hit by pellets,” the Hurriyat (M) spokesman told The Kashmir Press.
“The blood of the injured is spread all over the mosque and needs to be cleaned first.”
Dozens of protesters on Friday sustained pellet injuries, many in their eyes, after police fired pellets inside the premises of the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar’s old city, eye witnesses said.
Witnesses said that clashes broke out between pro-freedom protesters and the police soon after the Friday prayers were over at the Mosque.
“The boys were only protesting when police started firing pellets and tear gas canisters at them,” eye witnesses said.
Then the police chased the protesters and pushed them back towards the Jamia Masjid.
“They (police) entered the Jamia Masjid premises and fired pellets indiscriminately at the protesting youth.”
Eyewitness Imran Ali said scores of youth were injured and at least 10 youth received pellets in their eyes.
“Even those offering Sunnah prayers were injured as forces fired pellets and teargas shells inside the mosque’s compound,” he said
Ali said that several women were left unconscious after the forces fired PAVA shells inside the mosque.
He added that the pellets even hit the age old wooden pillars of the historic building.
“The door of the mosque was damaged as forces fired pellets at the doors,” Ali said.
Another eyewitness said many people were bleeding profusely from their eyes and ears after being hit by pellets.
Videos showing blood stains inside the Jamia Masjid have gone viral.
The worshippers and locals later called ambulances of four hospitals to ferry the injured to emergency rooms.
Reacting strongly to the action of the police inside the Jamia Masjid, Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the deployment of police in and around Jamia Masjid.
“Heavy deployment of Govt forces around JamaMasjid even in this holy month leading to tension & agitation. Dozens of civilians injured after forces resorted to pellet &teargas shelling! Large numbers of people unable to come out of the mosque. Condemn the deployment and forces action,” Mirwaiz wrote in a tweet.
Ahead of Friday prayers, the Hurriyat (M) spokesman said the entire Nowhatta area near the Jamia Masjid had been turned into a military fortress, with the huge deployment of police and paramilitary forces solely aiming at disrupting the peace and damaging the sanctity of the central Masjid, which is the spiritual centre of Lakhs of Kashmiris.
The Hurriyat spokesman denounced the firing of hundreds of lethal pellets, tear gas and pava shells at the peaceful worshipers injuring dozens, including shopkeepers of the Nowhatta area, terming it as an example of ultimate repression and the forces’ highhandedness.