Srinagar, Oct 15: Authorities on Friday disallowed the weekly congregational prayers at the grand mosque in downtown Srinagar, a spokesman of the Anjuman Auqaf said.
In a statement, the spokesman said that the state authorities did not allow congregational Friday prayers to be held at Jama Masjid Srinagar today. “Heavy deployment of forces was carried out since early morning in the entire area,” he said.
“When the Auqaf employees opened up the gates of the mosque police personnel forced them to close all the gates and no namazis were allowed inside the mosque for offering the obligatory Friday prayers,” said the spokesman.
He said a large group of namazis including women and children who had gathered outside the mosque strongly protested this “authoritarian move and demanded that they be allowed to go inside the mosque to offer prayers, but to no avail.”
The Anjuman had earlier this week said that Friday prayers would be held at the mosque in view of blessed month of Rabi-ul-Awwal and the decline in Covid-19 cases.
“…the earlier pretext of Covid pandemic by the authorities to prevent Muslims from offering Friday prayers at Jama Masjid stands completely exposed today,” said the spokesman.
“It is extremely unfortunate and disdainful of the authorities to disallow Muslims of the valley from praying at the Central mosque by use of brute force and cause then hurt and grief. Muslims of the valley denounce this injustice and interference in religious freedom in strongest terms the Anjuman said and register their protest.”