Friday prayers disallowed at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid
Srinagar: Authorities disallowed congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid here on Friday, citing the coronavirus situation.
The mosque’s managing committee, however, expressed resentment against the decision, saying the administration was closing religious places for Friday prayers “under the guise of COVID-19”.
It also described the attitude of the authorities as “extremely regrettable and appalling”.
Friday prayers at the grand mosque in Nowhatta area of the city were allowed last Friday for the first time after over four months. The prayers were suspended in the wake of the second wave of coronavirus.
Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid the managing body of the grand mosque in a statement on Friday expressed surprise and resentment over the closure of the mosque along with other central religious places including Asare-e-Sharif Dargah Hazratbal, Khanqah-e-Moula and Astaan Aalia Makhdoom sahab for Friday prayers by administration “under the guise of COVID-19”.
“This attitude of the rulers is extremely regrettable and appalling,” the Auqaf said.
It said Jamia Masjid Srinagar was reopened last Friday for prayers and worship after a long gap and the Auqaf had ensured that people who came to the mosque for prayers completely follow the Covid protocol.
“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,” it said.
The statement said due to the closure of central mosques, people at many places offered prayers on streets and outside compounds in protest and “expressed their indignation at the attitude of the rulers”.
“It is 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,” it said.
The managing body sought removal of the restrictions and also demanded immediate release of Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who has been under house arrest since August 2019.