Srinagar, Apr 14: National Conference President and Member of the Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday condemned disallowing of Jumat-Ul-Vida prayers at the historical Jamia Masjid here.
In a statement Dr Farooq said, "Jamia Masjid is the central mosque and an epicentre of faith of millions of Muslims across J&K. Having this great mosque out of bounds for people on the auspicious day of Jumat-ul-Vida is highly deplorable. Such unwarranted curbs hurt the religious sentiments of millions and are unsuited to the country's democratic, secular moorings besides debunking the claims of government on changed ground situation across Kashmir," he said.
Apni Party President Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari on Friday expressed deep regret over the closure of historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on the auspicious occasion of Jumat-ul-Vida, and termed the act by the authorities as "deeply regrettable" and a "brazen violation of religious freedom,"
He said, "It is unfortunate and deeply regrettable that authorities yet again have barred Muslims from offering prayers in Jamia Masjid even on this most auspicious day of Jumat-ul-Vida. This is also a brazen violation of religious freedom, which is guaranteed by the Constitution."
Apni Party President said that the practice of repeatedly disallowing people from offering prayers in the grand mosque, which has been a spiritual centre for the Muslims of Kashmir for centuries, is hurting the religious sentiments of the masses and it causes great distress to lakhs of Muslims who traditionally come from various parts of Valley to join congregational prayers here."
He urged the administration to revisit such decisions and ensure the practice of closing the mosque is not repeated on the upcoming occasions of Shab-e-Qadr, Eid-ul-Fitr.