SRINAGAR Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar Saturday said the deployment of government forces in large numbers creates an atmosphere of fear among the worshipers and gives vested interests an opportunity to foment trouble and violate the sanctity of the historic mosque.
The statement comes a day after clashes erupted in Nowhatta area following congregational Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid yesterday.
The use of live ammunition against the devotees after Friday congregation triggered chaos all around, Anjuman said in a statement.
Thousands of people from across the valley including far off districts reach the historic Jamia Masjid to listen to the Friday sermon and to seek blessings of Almighty Allah, and offer Friday prayers but the presence of government forces in large numbers around the Masjid creates an atmosphere of fear among the worshipers, the statement said.
The Anjuman while strongly denouncing the use of lethal pellets against the worshipers that include women, children and elderly said the deliberate presence of government forces in large numbers is damaging the centrality and sanctity of the Masjid which is the spiritual centre of lakhs of Kashmiris.
The deployment of government forces in huge numbers before the prayers also gives ample opportunity to certain vested interests to foment trouble around the mosque and to damage the sanctity and sacredness of the grand masjid, the statement said.
The Ajuman has time and again called on the administration to ensure there is no deployment of government forces around Jamia Masjid on Fridays but the frequent pleas seems to be falling on the deaf ears as forces remain deployed in large numbers as seen on first Friday of the holy month.
The Anjuman said that the way prayers are held peacefully in Kashmirs major shrines, masjids and Imam Baras with zero deployment of government forces, same model should be applied for Jamia as well so that people offer prayers in a free and peaceful atmosphere.