Rajouri: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday asked for immediate opening of all the religious places including Dargah Hazratbal and Jamia Masjid Srinagar for the devotees saying that these places of worship had been closed for Friday Prayers for long.
A statement of PDP issued here quoted Mehbooba as saying that these revered places remain unjustifiably closed for Friday prayers on the pretext of Covid-19 or for security reasons, depriving thousands of devotees from offering prayers there.
“On the security front, the authorities have been making repeated claims of ‘all is well’. They quote stone pelting incidents and instances of violence in general to back their claims. So what justifies the closure of these revered places for Friday prayers?” she said.
“As far as the Covid situation goes, we have seen normal operations of all other sectors, huge events are organised by the government, sports activities have been happening in a big way and now even the higher education institutions are being opened. Parks, gardens and amusement parks have also been thrown open for the general public. In such a situation, keeping Dargah Hazratbal and Jamia Masjid closed for Friday prayers has no justification,” Mehbooba said, adding that singling out these revered places for restriction smacks of ulterior motives and amounts to direct interference in religious matters.”
“Places like Jamia Masjid Srinagar and Dargah Hazratbal, apart from having religious significance are also centers of social, cultural and economic activity and this undue clampdown is only alienating the people further. These places should be opened for Friday prayers without any further delay,” she said.