Four Months On, No Congregational Friday Prayers In Historic Jamia Masjid

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Srinagar: The Kashmir Uprising entered fourth month on Friday and yet government disallowed mandatory congregational Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid Srinagar.

Police have imposed curfew in several police stations in Srinagar and huge deployment of police and CRPF has been made across Srinagar and other parts of Valley in view of march to UN office at Sonwar here.

In its latest calendar, the pro-freedom leaders have asked people to march towards UNMOGIP office to submit a memorandum. However, severe restrictions have been imposed to thwart any such march.

In Nowhatta, where the historic Jamia Masjid is located, residents said that they are not being allowed to move out of their homes. It was on July 08 – when popular militant commander, Burhan Wani, was killed by forces in Bemdoora area of South Kashmir’s Islamabad district – that the mandatory congregational Friday prayers were held in Jamia Masjid last time. Since then, police and CRPF men seal all entries to Jamia Masjid on Friday.

Since 2008, when public uprisings were triggered in Kashmir, subsequent governments have been closing Jamia Masjid on Fridays “in view of law and order situation”.

The J&K Government, second time in last 91 days, disallowed mandatory congregational Friday prayers in a Jamia Masjid near UNMOGIP office at Sonwar. The authorities apprehend that people might take out march towards the office of the mission post Friday prayers.

The death of Burhan Wani triggered massive public uprising and since July 09, 2016, at least 93 civilians have been killed and over 15000 others have been injured while over 7000 persons have been jailed many of whom were released on bails.

“We offer Friday prayers in local and smaller Masjids in view of ban on mandatory congregational Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid Srinagar,” Nowhatta resident said.

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Denying Friday prayers unacceptable: Er Rasheed

Srinagar:  AIP President and MLA Langate Er Rasheed today condemned state government for not allowing Friday prayers for the 13th consecutive occasion in main Jamia Masjid Srinagar.

In a statement issued today Er Rasheed said, “Jamia Masjid is not only a spiritual and religious place but every Kashmiri has his deep affiliation, love and respect with Jamia Masjid. Giving excuses to stop people from offering Friday prayers in the said mosque is worst example of religious interference. In the name of maintaining so called law and order, current government has no moral or legal authority to seal the mosque,” he said.

The MLA said the move clearly shows frustration and designs of the government and when people take to roads to protest such barbaric acts, Indian media wastes not even a second to label them as pro-Pak elements.

Er Rasheed condemned continuous arrest of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and said that he is not only the political figure but the religious leader of state and is being respected by masses everywhere.

“Government must release him and other political prisoners including Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Aasiya Andrabi and Massarat Alam without any delay,” he demanded.

He also condemned government for slapping PSA on Andrabi and Fahmeeda Sofi and said that while Mehbooba is often talking about honour and dignity of women, would she mind to say whether these two daughters of the soil were holding guns or stones in their hands.

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