Mantris, Netas to skip Eid prayers

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Srinagar, Sep 12: Even as Kashmir continues to be on the boil for over two months, some of the minister and other high profile politicians, mainly from the ruling parties here are feared to skip congregational Eid Ul Azha prayers, Kashmir Observer learnt from reliable sources.
Sources said the call from the united Hurriyat that all Masjids and Eidgahs in Kashmir should hold the Eid prayers concurrently at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, the security agencies apprehend that it would be  “unwise” on the part of the  high profile people from the ruling coalition to attend the Salah.

A top official in the police department said given the situation, the venue was yet to be decided as to where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and other senior ministers would offer her prayers. Some two months ago at the previous, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Mehboooba had offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine but two days later militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his two associates were killed, putting the Valley on the edge as there has been no improvement in the situation.

Officials said the situation was much tense this time as the separatist leadership has called for the march to the office of United Nations Military Observers Group of India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)  at Sonawar on September 13.

Just next to the UNMOGIP office is the shrine of Hazrat Syed Yaqoob Shah Sahib (RA),  where most of the VIPs living at fortified Gupkar would offer prayers. But his time, in the wake of the protest march, the police has already sealed the entrance of the shrine towards the UNMOGIP office, with only one common entry towards the other side being open.
A senior police official said in the past years the VIP would mainly prefer to offer Eid prayers at this shrine or nearby TRC Grounds where the prayers would be held a bit late at around 10:00 AM.

“The precedence had been that after getting feedback from elsewhere, they (VIPs) would offer the congregational prayers. But as this time prayers are to be held simultaneously, it will be difficult to ascertain the feasibility of their venturing out,” the official explained.

A senior leader from a ruling party said many of his colleagues have already decided to avoid congregational prayers. “Basically the situation has been tense this time and you can expect anything from the fellow Musalees, so we have resolved to stay indoors out of our wisdom,” the politician told Kashmir Observer, asking not to be identified.
The government, on the other hand, is unlikely to allow any big assemblage for congregational prayers at places like Eidgah or other open grounds where these prayers are traditionally held.

“Congregational prayers are likely to allowed but only at Mohalla mosques while strict restrictions will last for around six days across Valley,”  a senior official said.
Meanwhile some people from HMT alleged that Army has asked them not to offer congregational Eid prayers or that they would have to bear the consequences. The Army PRO couldn’t be contacted for comments.

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