Srinagar Grand Mosque Likely To Reopen After 30 Week Closure

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir PK Pole and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar visited Jamia Masjid on Monday.

Srinagar- Ahead of the holy month of Ramazan, the historic Jamia Masjid in the Old City of Srinagar is likely to reopen for prayers after remaining closed for over 30 weeks.

On Monday, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir PK Pole visited the grand Masjid to review the preparedness. The Div com was accompanied by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar.

Sources in the administration told Kashmir Observer that a decision regarding the opening of Jamia Masjid is likely to be taken in the next few days.

The officials also met the Imam of the Grand Mosque and also the members from the Auqaf Jamia Masjid in this regard.

Jamia Masjid, the 14th century building, is the major place of worship in the Kashmir Valley closed for congregational prayers by the authorities.

For the third consecutive year the authorities didn’t allow the special prayers on Shab-e-Me’raj, the night of ascent when the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ascended to the heavens.

Pole told Kashmir Observer that they had visited the mosque to access the developmental activities including the renovation of shopping complex, construction of Wuzu Khana (Ablution block) and blacktopping of paths nearby.

“Administration will take a call regarding allowing prayers,” he added.

He further added that the Masjid management also raised some issues regarding the developmental activities of the mosque which will be addressed.

Pertinently, the Masjid is closed for the 29th consecutive weeks. It was closed for the mandatory prayers due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic that claimed thousands of lives in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir’s head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who used to deliver Friday sermons at the Jamia Masjid has been under continuous house arrest at his Nigeen residence since August 5, 2019.

Meanwhile, a local news agency quoted IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar as saying that the government is considering to reopen the Jamia Masjid next week.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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