Srinagar: Friday prayers were again suspended at the historic Jamia Masjid in the downtown and Hazratbal shrine following fresh advisory by the administration limiting gatherings to 25 people in the Union Territory.
No Friday prayers were held in the historic Masjid today, said Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid (AAJM), headed by moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, who is under house arrest since August 5, 2019.
The UT administration has recently issued an order that only 25 person are allowed to attend any function in Jammu and Kashmir.
Friday prayers were resumed at Jamia Masjid only last week after remaining suspended for more than three months to prevent spread of COVID 19.
No congregational prayers were also allowed at Hazratbal shrine which houses the Holy Relic of Prophet Muhammad. However, people who had assembled there offered prayers on the road as shrine was closed due to COVID.
Friday prayers were held in other major worship places, including at the shrine of Hazrat Goulsul Azam Dastigeer Khanyar and Hazrat Syed Sahib Sonwar.
People participated in congregational Friday prayers in other mosques and worship places.
Meanwhile, Anjuman Auqaf, the management of Jamia Masjid expressed surprise and resentment over the closure of central religious places including the Jamia Masjid, Hazratbal shrine, Khanqah-e-Maula and Astaan Aalia Makhdoom sahab for Friday prayers by administration under the “guise of COVID-19”, terming this attitude of the rulers as extremely regrettable and appalling.
“The Anjuman Auqaf had ensured that people who came to the mosque for prayers fully follow the COVID SOP guidelines. But today, the authorities closed not only the Jamia Masjid and other central and important places for Friday prayers, but on the contrary, an attempt was made to create an atmosphere of fear and panic by deploying heavy military contingent around many central places of worship,” an Anjuman spokesperson said, in a statement issued here.
He said that due to the closure of central mosques, people at many places offered prayers on streets and outside compounds in protest.
“It’s ironic that on one hand all concerns regarding Covid are being ignored when it comes to asking people to participate in official functions while restrictions are being imposed on Friday prayers and worship in central mosques, shrines and imambaras where Covid SOPs are being fully followed,” the spokesperson said.
Apart from seeking lifting of restrictions on the Jamia Masjid as well as all other major places of worship, the Anjuman also demanded immediate release of its President and Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. (With agency inputs)
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