Srinagar, Aug 13: Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid Srinagar has expressed surprise and resentment over the closure of central religious places including the historic Jama Masjid Srinagar, Asare-e-Sharif Dargah Hazratbal Khanqah-e-Moula and Astaan Aalia Makhdoom Sahab (RA) for Friday prayers by administration under the guise of COVID-19, terming this attitude of the rulers as extremely regrettable and appalling.
The Anjuman in a statement said that after a long gap, Jama Masjid Srinagar was reopened last Friday for prayers and worship.
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 Jama 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.”
The statement said that due to the closure of central mosques, people at many places offered prayers on streets and outside compounds in protest and expressed their indignation against the attitude of the rulers.
Anjuman said that it’s ironic that on ones 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 statement said.
Apart from seeking removal of restrictions on the Jamia Masjid as well as all other major places of worship, the Anjuman Auqaf has demanded immediate release of Mirwai Umar Farooq, who is detained under house arrest for the past 25 months and is been barred from performing important religious duties such as Friday prayers for more than two years now.
Stating that authorities were crossing all limits regarding interference in religious affairs which was a matter of great concern to the people of Kashmir, the Anjuman demanded immediate removal of these undue restrictions.
COVID-19: Mandatory Friday prayers disallowed at major shrines, Masjids in J&K
In wake of the Covid pandemic, the major shrines and Masjids falling under the jurisdiction of the Waqf Board, remained closed for the mandatory Friday congregational prayers.
Earlier, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha quoting the experts report had stated that the next 100 days are crucial regarding the 3rd Covid wave and had directed the officials to ensure that not to allow any congregation in which more than 25 persons will be participating.
Sources said that all the major shrines and Masjids including Hazratbal dargah, historic Jamia Masjid and other shrines remained closed for the mandatory congregational Friday prayers today.
“No one was allowed to offer Friday prayers at the shrines and Masjids falling under Waqf board’s jurisdiction,” sources said.
CEO Waqf Board, Mufti Muhammad Farid ud din said that the shrines and Masjds have been closed by the government in wake of the Covid pandemic.
Pertinently, Jamia Masjid witnessed Friday prayers last week after the gap of nearly four months. kno