Srinagar, August 13 : In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities on Friday disallowed the congregational Juma prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar and other major mosques of the territory.
Eyewitnesses said that the prayers were not offered as authorities had locked the main gate of the mosque with Indian armed forces personnel deployed in front of it.
Last Friday, Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid announced that congregational prayers will be allowed at the Jamia Masjid. The last Friday prayers were offered four months after the masjid was completely closed for the religious gatherings.
Meanwhile, Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar in a statement expressed surprise and resentment over the closure of central religious places including the Jamia Masjid Srinagar, Asare-e-Sharif Dargah Hazratbal, Khanqah-e-Muala and Astaan Aalia Makhdoom Sb (RA) for Friday prayers by the authorities under the guise of COVID-19, terming this attitude of the rulers as extremely regrettable and appalling.
The Anjuman said that after a long gap, Jamia 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 SOPs. But today, the authorities closed not only the Jamia 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 military contingent around many central places of worship,” it deplored.
The Anjuman said it’s ironic that on one 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 imambargahs where Covid SOPs are being fully followed.
Apart from seeking removal of restrictions on the Jamia Masjid as well as all other major places of worship, the Anjuman Auqaf demanded immediate release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is 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 the 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.