Srinagar: Authorities disallowed Jumat-ul-Vida (last Friday of Ramazan) congregational prayers at Kashmir’s grand mosque – Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, the managing body of the mosque said.
The Friday prayers, on one of the important days for Muslims in Ramazan, were allowed at other places across Kashmir .
Anjuman Auqaf, the management body of Jamia Masjid Srinagar said District Magistrate and police officials visited the mosque at 9.30 am and asked the management to lock the gates of the mosque as the administration has decided that Jumat-ul-Vida prayers will not be allowed at the Masjid.
The Anjuman resented the move and said it caused great distress to lakhs of Muslims, who traditionally come from all parts of the valley to offer prayers on the last Friday of Ramazan in Jamia Masjid.
The disallowing of the Jumat-ul-Vida prayers at Jamia mosque triggered condemnation from locals.
“ I had come from Anantnag to offer Friday prayers, but was shocked to see the gate of the mosque locked on the pious day. This is a violation of religious freedom,” said a devotee outside the Jamia mosque.
Many locals said there was no reason for the government to disallow prayers.
“ There has been no law and order problem in old Srinagar for a long time and it is surprising to see that we were not allowed to offer Friday prayers,” said a resident of Nowhatta.
Meanwhile, National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah took a dig at the government.
“We are constantly treated to claims of normalcy in J&K and yet the administration betrays its own claims when it resorts to locking up one of our holiest mosques thus denying people the chance to offer prayers on the last Friday of Ramzan,” Omar tweeted.