Religious Places Re-Open In J&K


KO File Pic: Abid Bhat

Srinagar- Religious places were re-opened in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday after a gap of about five months, officials said.

The religious places were shut due to the lockdown imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 4, the Jammu and Kashmir administration decided to open the religious places and places of worship from August 16, but religious processions and large religious gatherings remain prohibited.

The religious places re-opened across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, the officials said.

They said people as well as the management committees of all the religious places have been directed to strictly follow the guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place in view of the pandemic.

Any deviation from the SOPs would attract penal action under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, they added.

The officials said the administration has issued various guidelines and the devotees will be required to follow all the norms, including the one on the use of the Aarogya Setu mobile application.

The guidelines also say that the visitors will not be allowed to touch the statues, idols or holy books at the religious places.

There will be restrictions on the number of pilgrims visiting shrines like Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra till September 30.

While the major mosques and shrines in the Kashmir valley remained shut due to the lockdown, some people offered prayers at the local mosques. However, the gatherings were smaller.

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