Police book several people for organising Friday prayers in Kashmir

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The restrictions on the movement and assembly of people to curb the spread of the coronavirus continued in Kashmir for the tenth consecutive on Saturday, even as police booked several people for defying the lockdown by organising congregational prayers on Friday, officials said.
While most of the mosques and shrines in the valley were shut, a few mosques held the Friday prayers, they added.

The police booked several people for defying the prohibitory orders and organising the Friday prayers, the officials said.

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In Ganderbal district of central Kashmir, police lodged an FIR against several people for gathering to offer Friday prayers in the Jamia Masjid Chattergul, they added.

An FIR was lodged for similar reasons in south Kashmir”s Shopian district, the officials said.

Friday prayers were held in Pandushan village of Shopian, endangering the lives of hundreds of villagers, they said.

The police booked Maulvi Abdul Ghani Thoker, a resident of Pandushan who led the prayers, and four others who organised the congregation, the officials said.

The police arrested six persons from the Hajin area in north Kashmir”s Bandipora district, they added.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day countrywide lockdown on Tuesday evening, the Union Territory administration here had announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir till March 31 on Sunday as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Essential services, including healthcare personnel, have been exempted from the restrictions.