SRINAGAR – No congregational Friday prayers were offered at the historic Jamia Masjid for the 19th running week, as the stalemate over the deployment of government forces around the grand mosque and its adjoining areas continued between the Auqaf and the police.
Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid alleged that security forces were deployed at Jamia gates and Nowhatta Chowk which prevents worshippers from proceeding towards Jamia Masjid, a local newsgathering agency reported.
“Until, government forces are removed from all gates and Nowhata, there can’t be Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid,” said a senior Auqaf member, on the condition of anonymity.
Locals said that despite snowfall, government forces could be spotted at Nowhatta and at the gates of Jamia Masjid since morning.
“Nobody could be seen proceeding towards Jamia Masjid for the 19th straight Friday. We are missing the aura and spirituality that the Masjid offers to its worshippers,” said Aijaz Ahmed, a resident.
However, police said that there were no curbs for holding congregational prayers.
“We had conveyed to the Auqaf on the 15th week only that there were no curbs in holding prayers. We don’t know why Auqaf fails to hold prayers at the Jamia Masjid,” said a senior police official. (KNO)