Srinagar: After nine weeks, Friday prayers
were held in historic Jamia Masjid here Friday as authorities
did not impose curfew following a threat by Islamic scholars
to issue a `fatwa` against the Jammu and Kashmir government.
However, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz
Umer Farooq, who delivers the sermon ahead of congregational
prayers, could not participate as he was placed under house
arrest, official sources said.
The last Friday prayers were offered at Jamia Masjid
on September 10, a day ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival.
Apprehensive of violence after the prayers, authorities
used to impose strict curfew to ward off protests and maintain
law and order.
Islamic scholars and clerics, under the banner of
`Muttehada Majlis-e-Ulema`, had voiced serious concern over
placing of restrictions around Jamia Masjid and other places
of worship on Fridays.
They threatened to issue a `fatwa` (edict) against the
state government if it did not lift the restrictions today.
Immediately after the prayers ended, supporters of
Mirwaiz took to the streets protesting his house arrest and
also what they called "continued siege" of the Jamia mosque
for the past nine weeks.
Slogan-shouting protestors were stopped by police at
Gojwara Chowk sparking minor clashes between the two sides.
Police used mild force to disperse the protesters but
none was hurt, sources said.