SRINAGAR: Barring the historic Jamia Masjid Nowhatta, Eid-ul-Fitr prayers were offered by the believers in huge numbers across Jammu and Kashmir amid overcast weather conditions.

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While the special congregational prayers at many places were offered in spacious Eidgahs, prayers at many other places were held inside mosques in the aftermath of the wet prayer grounds, because of incessant downpour for last several days.

Thousands of Muslims, gathered at Hazratbal and other mosques and shrines across the valley, including at the Dast-e-Geer Sahib and Sayed Yaqoob Shah shrines since early morning to offer special prayers.

The prayers were also held at other mosques and shrines in Srinagar including at Masjid Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith Gawkadal, Asar-e-Sharif Janab Sahib Soura, Asar-e-Sharif Shehri Kalashpora, Ziarat-e-Makhdoom Sahib (RA) and Khanqah-e-Maula.

In north Kashmir, the prayers were held at Jamia Masjid Bandipora, Jamia Masjid Baramulla, Jamia Masjid Kupwara, Masjid ul Murshideen Khushaal Sahib Bumhama, Jamia Masjid Handwara and other local mosques.

In south Kashmir, prayers were held at Jamia Masjid Hanfia, Jamia Masjid Ahle Hadith, Bait-ul-Mukarram and Rehat-Ded Masjid in Anantnag town. The prayers were also offered in Ziarat-e-Sharief Khiram Kund, Aishmuqam and Bijbehara areas of the south Kashmir district.

In Kulgam, the prayers were held in Markazi Jamia Masjid. Large congregational prayer gatherings were also witnessed in Khankah Tral, Jamia Masjid Shopian and Jamia Masjid Pulwama.

In Srinagar, authorities denied permission for Eid prayers in Jamia Masjid Nowhatta, after initially hinting to allow the prayers in the historic mosque.

Reports said the gates of the mosque were closed early morning by the security grid and deployments were made in and around the mosque to implement the orders by the authorities.

Voicing his concern over the decision of authorities to shut the Jamia Masjid on Eid eve, Grand Mufti, J&K, Nasir-ul-Islam said given the prevailing situation in the Valley, the authorities ought to have allowed the prayers at the historic mosque. “Why is it that the authorities withdrew the permission at the eleventh hour”, Islam said.

“Peaceful conduct of prayers was witnessed in the prayers recently held at the mosque, which indicated that the prayers should have been allowed”, Islam said adding “The occasion of Eid is a joyous occasion and withholding the prayers on such an occasion mars the very essence of such a blissful eve.”

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, and other police and several civil officers besides politial and social organisations extended greetings to people on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, wishing them well-being and prosperity.

“Heartiest greetings and good wishes to the people on the joyous occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. The festival marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan and symbolizes the spirit of austerity, brotherhood, compassion and joy of sharing”, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said in his message.

Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Vijay Kumar Friday extended greetings to people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. “ADGP Kashmir Shri Vijay Kumar greets people on the eve of Eid-Ul-Fitr. #EidMubarak,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.

The Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta expressed hope that the festival would lead everyone to happiness and success.

He also expressed optimism that the festival would strengthen the bond between all religious communities and teach people the relevance of communal harmony, tolerance, kindness and service to mankind as the real essence of the festival.

Chairperson of J&K Waqf Board Dr Darakhshan Andrabi in her message prayed that the sacred occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr brings along everlasting peace, happiness and prosperity to the people of J&K.

Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar city Rakesh Bhalwal in his message expressed hope that the auspicious occasion would strengthen the bonds of communal harmony and brotherhood and be a harbinger of peace, progress and prosperity in the UT. The SSP urged the people to keep up with the values of communal harmony, brotherhood and human values.

He further said that the festival reminds us to share our joys with the destitute and deserving. “The occasion teaches us to rededicate ourselves for the service of people, reaffirm our commitment towards brotherhood and selfless service to humanity.”

Meanwhile several social and political organisations have also extended their felicitations to the people on the special eve. (GNS)

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