Srinagar, Dec 15: To foil an attempt of the Joint Hurriyat Leadership to hold a public rally in south Kashmir Anantnag, authorities on Friday sealed the principal town and imposed restrictions other areas of the district along with summer capital Srinagar to prevent people from attending the rally.
Authorities also disallowed Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.
Locals complained that people were not allowed to enter the South town as it had been sealed from all sides.
Restrictions, as per a police official, were imposed across the district to thwart any possible protest.
Leaving nothing to chance, the authorities also closed Anantnag-Srinagar highway and suspended train services. No passenger vehicle was allowed to move on the road, locals said, adding barricades were erected at many places including Sangam and Bijbehara to close the highway.
Train services too were suspended for “security reasons”, in view of the slated rally.
“We suspended all train services in Kashmir valley for security reasons following advisory from the police”, a railway official said.
On Thursday evening, authorities had taken into custody many Hurriyat conference activists including Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, M Yaseen Ataai and M Y Bhat to prevent their participation in the rally.
Houses of several other activists including Bilal Siddiqee and Maulvi Bashir Irfani were raided while Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and Mohammad Ashraf Lawa were placed under house arrest.
In Srinagar, restrictions were imposed in the areas falling under six police stations of Nowhatta, Rainawari, M R Gunj, Safa Kadal and partially in Maisuma and Kralkhud to prevent participation of the people in the rally.
The Joint Hurriyat had announced to hold the rally in Anantnag to highlight the alleged atrocities on the people of south Kashmir.
While JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik was arrested and lodged in Srinagar central jail, Syed Ali Shah Geelani is continuously under house detention since 2010 while as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq too has been placed under house arrest.
Authorities also announced postponement of the examinations of board of school education scheduled on Friday in Kashmir.