SRINAGAR – Friday prayers were again suspended at historic Jamia Masjid in the down town and Assar-e-Shareif Hazratbal following fresh advisory issued by the administration that only 25 person are allowed to attend any congregation.
No Friday prayers were held in the historic Masjid today, said Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid (AAJM), headed by moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, who is under house arrest since August 5, 2019.
The UT administration has recently issued an order that only 25 person are allowed to attend any function in the Jammu and Kashmir.
Friday prayers were resumed at Jamia Masjid only last week after remaining suspended for more than three months to prevent spread of COVID 19.
No congregational prayers were also allowed at Hazratbal shrine which houses the Holy Relic of Prophet Muhammad. However, people who had assembled there offered prayers on the road as shrine was closed due to COVID.
Friday prayers were held in other major worship places, including at the shrine of Hazrat Goulsul Azam Dastigeer Khanyar and Hazrat Syed Sahib Sonwar.
People are participated in congregational Friday prayers in other mosques and worship places.
Meanwhile, AAJM has expressed surprise and resentment over the closure of central religious places including the historic Jama Masjid Srinagar, Asare-e-Sharif Dargah Hazratbal Khanqah-e-Moula and Astaan Aalia Makhdoom Sahib for Friday prayers by administration under the guise of COVID-19.
The Anjuman in a statement said that after a long gap, Jama Masjid Srinagar was reopened last Friday for prayers and worship . The Anjuman Auqaf had ensured that people who came to the mosque for prayers fully follow the COVID SOP guidelines. But today, the authorities closed not only the Jama Masjid and other central and important places for Friday prayers, but on the contrary, an attempt was made to create an atmosphere of fear and panic by deploying heavy security contingent around many central places of worship.
The statement said that due to the closure of central mosques, people at many places offered prayers on streets and outside compounds in protest and expressed their indignation against the attitude of the rulers.
Anjuman said that it’s ironic that on ones hand all concerns regarding Covid are being ignored when it comes to asking people to participate in official functions while restrictions are being imposed on Friday prayers and worship in central mosques, shrines and imambaras where Covid SOPs are being fully followed, the statement said.
Apart from seeking removal of restrictions on the Jama Masjid as well as all other major places of worship, the Anjuman Auqaf has demanded immediate release of Mirwai Umar Farooq, who is detained under house arrest for the past 25 months and is been forcibly barred from performing important religious duties such as Friday prayers for more than two years now.
Asserting that authorities were crossing all limits regarding interference in religious affairs which was a matter of great concern to the people of Kashmir, the Anjuman demanded immediate removal of these undue restrictions.
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