Jama Masjid slogans: At least 13 arrested under sedition, ‘PSA being prepared’

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Srinagar: After the anti-India sloganeering at Jama Masjid in Srinagar, Jammu Kashmir Police have arrested at least 13 youth under sedition, The Kashmir Walla has learnt.

Immediately after Friday prayers Jama Masjid in Nowhatta, which was opened for prayers recently after several months of closure, the area reverberated with the anti-India slogans.

Rakesh Balwal, Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar, told The Kashmir Walla that two main “instigators” of the sloganeering at the Masjid along with 11 persons have been arrested. The main accused have been identified by the police as Basharat Nabi Bhat, resident of Hawal, Nowhatta, and Umar Manzoor Sheikh, resident of Bahuddin Saab in Srinagar.  

A case in this regard was registered in Nowhatta under FIR no 16/2020 under sections 124A (sedition) and 447 (criminal trespass) of the India Penal Code. As per police, several people are being quizzed related to the incident. Later, during the investigation, section 120B (conspiracy) of the IPC. 

In a press release, the police later added: “PSA dossiers of all these accused are being prepared for booking them under PSA act as well, in addition to case.”

“It also came out during initial investigation that the accused in furtherance of a well planned conspiracy had received instructions from Pakistani handlers of terror outfits to disrupt Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid and create law and order situation by provoking the attendees,” the press release added.

Police in a statement have said that no attempt at disrupting peace will be tolerated and strict action under provisions of the law will be taken against all those who get involved in such illegal activities.

This created a situation of ruckus inside the mosque leading to clashes between them. Later the hooligans were dispersed outside the mosque by volunteers. Even after coming outside from one gate, more than a dozen among them tried to provoke others by sloganeering which failed and in 2-3 minutes they dispersed in hurry seeing police presence around. 

“Investigation in this case is undergoing at [a] fast pace and some more arrests are likely,” the police said. “Srinagar Police informs all citizens that any attempt at disrupting peace will be viewed very seriously, strictest action under provisions of law will be taken against all those who get involved in such illegal activities.”

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