No Friday Prayers At Jamia; Mirwaiz Under House Arrest

SRINAGAR — Kashmir’s historic grand mosque in Nowhatta area here was out of bounds for devotees as  authorities once again barred the congregational Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid amid huge deployment of police and paramilitary personnel in several areas of the summer capital city.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Hurriyat chairman and chief cleric, was also put under house detention by the government.

Reports quoting locals said that forces had been deployed in huge numbers and concertina wires laid to block roads in Nowhatta and other areas of Old City.

Mirwaiz, who delivers the Friday sermon in the grand mosque, was put under house detention at his residence in Nigeen area of Hazratbal.

Mobile internet was suspended by authorities in summer capital of the state, Srinagar since Friday morning. Officials said that the move to impose restrictions in old city was done as a preventive measure to thwart any pro freedom protests and to control law and order situation.

In a statement, Mirwaiz  denounced the authorities for  barring congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid on the auspicious occasion of Mehraj-e-Alam (SAW).

Mirwaiz said that “disallowing the people from offering congregational prayers at the grand masjid, the spiritual centre of people, where masjlis-e-Toba-e-Istigfaar was to be held, has deeply hurt religious sentiments of hundreds of people hurt.”

Mirwaiz said repeatedly locking down the grand mosque is unacceptable and stated that while entire Muslim Umaah is observing Mehraj-e-Alam with religious fervour, thousands of Kashmiri people were deprived of their religious right and stopped from attending the traditional religious event at Jamia Masjid as stringent curbs were in place amid heavy deployment of forces. Mirwaiz said that religious rights of people are also not spared.

He said that the policy of oppression being followed in Kashmir is nothing but a sheer political vendetta against the people and to punish them.


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