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Authorities Ban Jumat-ul-Vida Congregational Prayers at Historic Jamia Masjid in Kashmir

Photo: The Kashmiriyat

On Friday, the Jumat-ul-Vida congregational prayers, observed on the last Friday of Ramadan, were disallowed at Kashmir’s grand mosque, Jamia Masjid, located in Srinagar. Witnesses reported that worshippers were barred from entering the mosque, and the managing body of the mosque was prevented from making preparations for the prayers.

Mirwaiz Kashmir Umar Farooq, who was expected to deliver his first sermon at Jamia Masjid following the revocation of Article 370, was placed under house arrest early on Friday morning. Security personnel restricted movement around his residence in the Nigeen locality, preventing anyone from entering or leaving the premises.

According to reports, media personnel were denied access to Mirwaiz’s residence after he called for a press conference. The authorities remained tight-lipped about the reasons behind these actions.

A spokesperson for Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid, the managing body of the historic mosque, expressed dismay over the closure of the mosque’s gates, which were locked by authorities immediately after the morning prayer session. Despite inquiries, no written explanation was provided for the decision to prohibit the Friday prayers.

“They put padlocks on the gates of the mosque and told us that Friday prayers will not be allowed. They didn’t give any reason in writing,” said the Anjuman-e-Auqaf spokesperson.

Jumat-ul-Vida holds significant religious importance as it marks the conclusion of the sacred Islamic month of Ramadan. Thousands of worshippers were expected to participate in the congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid, with Mirwaiz scheduled to deliver his sermon on this occasion. However, the authorities’ intervention has disrupted these plans, sparking discontent among the local population.

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