Srinagar, June 28: For the third day Thursday, the authorities continued restrictions in six areas in the old quarters of this Jammu and Kashmir capital to maintain law and order following tension over the gutting of the revered shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in the Khanyar area, an official said.
“Restrictions in areas of Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj, Safakadal and Kralkhud will continue today (Thursday) till further orders”, a senior police officer told IANS.
In the uptown areas, markets, educational institutions and public transport remained shut, although some shops opened up in the interior areas as people brought their essentials.
Private transport plied on uptown roads, although very few vehicles were seen on the roads.
Police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in riot gear have been deployed in areas where restrictions have been imposed to ensure law and order.
Situation in the uptown areas and other major towns of the Valley is also being closely monitored, police said.
Vehicles carrying pilgrims to the north Kashmir base camp of Amarnath Yatra, however, moved normally on the 87-km long Srinagar-Baltal route.
Kashmir’s Grand Mufti, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din has appealed people to observe mourning up to Friday over the destruction of 11th century Muslim saint, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani shrine in Srinagar city Monday.
The grand Mufti also appealed people to march to the shrine site Friday to express their love and reverence for the saint.
The police has formed a special investigating team (SIT) headed by sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Khanyar, Syed Sajad Shah to investigate the mysterious fire that occurred at the shrine Monday.
Shah told IANS that a case has already been registered in the Khanyar police station to investigate the fire occurrence.
“We have questioned a few people so far. No arrests have been made by us in this connection yet. We are looking at all the angles of the case and as of now nothing has been ruled out,” he said.
It must be recalled that the accidental fire theory regarding the destruction of the shrine received a serious jolt when the custodian of the sacred relics at the shrine, Syed Khalid Hussain Geelani told reporters Monday that when fire broke out inside the shrine around 6.30 a.m. there was no electricity in the area.
“This will have to be corroborated with the logs of the electric department,” the SDPO told IANS.