SRINAGAR: The authorities today again disallowed the congregational prayers in Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid for the 15th consecutive Friday.

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The Srinagar administration had allowed prayers at the grand mosque in early August but ordered closure of the mosque in wake of rising Covid-19 cases. The mosque has not been opened to public, since.

Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid Srinagar, in a statement expressed its indignation and anger against the authorities for barring people from offering Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque.

The statement said, “It is regrettable and reprehensible in all respects to impose restrictions only on the Jama Masjid under the guise of COVID-19 pandemic while all other places of worship in Kashmir are open.”

“We have repeatedly said that forcibly preventing Muslims in Kashmir from performing their religious rites, especially Friday prayers, is not only tantamount to interference in religion but also deliberately hurting the religious sentiments of the people,” the statement further read.

The Anjuman said that apart from the people, the associations, institutions and personalities from all schools of thought have unanimously demanded opening of the Jama Masjid Srinagar for Friday prayers.

They also demanded the end of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s “illegal and arbitrary detention.” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been under house arrest since August 5, 2019.

“The indifference shown by the administration and the government in this regard is beyond comprehension,” the Auqaf said.

Meanwhile, Friday prayers were held at all major shrines and mosques including at Dargah Hazratbal.


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