No Friday prayers offered at Jamia Masjid for 19th consecutive week
SRINAGAR: For the 19th consecutive week, no Friday congregational prayers were offered at historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta on Friday.
Since August 5, when the Center abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories, no prayers have been offered at the Jamia Masjid.
While the authorities say there is no restriction in the area to offer prayers, the management of the Jamia Masjid have said no Friday prayers could be offered in the masjid till forces are not withdrawn from the area.
“Jamia Masjid is a spiritual centre of Kashmiris and closing the same has hurt sentiments of thousands of people across the Valley who would throng the masjid to offer congregational prayers,” a member of Auqaf committee Jamia Masjid, told Srinagar based news agency.
“Till the forces are not withdrawn from the area, no prayers could be offered at Jamia Masjid,” he said.
However, a senior police officer told KNS that there were no restrictions to offer Friday congregation prayers at Jamia Masjid and same has been conveyed to the management of the mosque. “The deployment in Nowhatta and adjoining areas is a routine and can in no way hamper the process of holding congregational prayers,” he said.
Reports said there were no restrictions on the movement of people around Jamia Masjid on Friday, though forces were deployed in Nowhatta and its adjoining areas.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who would deliver weekly Friday sermons at the Jamia Masjid, continues to remain under house detention at his Nigeen residence since August 5.