The Kashmir Police on Saturday arrested 13 persons for shouting slogans inside Srinagar’s Jama Masjid during Friday’s prayers.

“The accused were allegedly following instructions of handlers of Pakistani terror outfits, to disrupt a law and order during the Friday prayers,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Balwal.

He added that Public Safety Act dossiers of the accused persons were being prepared. The Act allows the authorities to hold individuals in custody without trial for up to two years to prevent them from acting in any manner that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order”.

According to the police, the men shouted “anti-national slogans”. When volunteers of the mosque’s managing committee tried to stop the men, it led to clashes.

The men were eventually evicted from the mosque by the volunteers. However, they continued shouting slogans outside of the mosque, and only dispersed after seeing the police arrive.

A case has been filed under Indian Penal Code sections that provide punishment for sedition and criminal trespassing.

“Any attempts to disrupt peace, and attempts to use religious places to further anti-national and terrorist agenda will be prosecuted stringently under the law,” cautioned Balwal.