SRINAGAR: When the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on Friday opened its gates after seven weeks, an adjacent mosque, too, opened its gates after the same time.
Malik Jalaludin Gori Masjid or Kaza Masjid, situated less than 100 meters from the Jamia mosque towards the Gojwara side, remains closed whenever authorities disallow prayers at Jamia and impose restrictions in the area.
This mosque has been equally suffering the clampdown as troops do not allow entry into the mosque that is mostly frequented by locals as well as shopkeepers in the vicinity, said Tariq Ahmad, one of the locals.
“This mosque has a single entrance that faces towards the main road. It is usually closed for public,” he said, adding that police as well as paramilitary do not allow any assembling inside the mosque.
Muhammad Ashraf, a local, said that during restrictions people mostly offer the morning and the evening prayers in this mosque. Assembly for rest of the prayers is usually disallowed.
Many people in the vicinity who frequent this mosque move to Hakim Shah mosque and Noor Masjid to offer prayers.
Ashraf said that mostly the prayers pass off peacefully in this mosque, but still the authorities disallow Friday payers as they fear stone pelting can follow.
The area remains cordoned every Friday and there is presence of troops and concertina wires all around, making it almost impossible to reach the mosque.
The Imam of this mosque, Mushtaq Ahmad Gilla, who earlier taught at a seminary in Kulgam, said that whenever restrictions or curfew is imposed, he himself has to find some other mosque for offering prayers.
He said that in the past, several government offices surrounded the historic Jamia mosque, one being the office of Qazi-ul Quza (Chief Justice) from which this mosque derives its name of Quza Masjid.
Several people call it Kaza Masjid, as many think that people miss prayers at Jamia later have the option to pray here.
Mushtaq added that the mosque has been named after a saint Jalal-u-din Gori who is buried in the vicinity.
GM Ali, one of the locals, said that apart from the office of the Qazi, during the reign of the Budshah a separate office of Mufti also existed near the Jamia compund. It now houses the Wazu Khana where recently a calligraphy contest was held by the tourism department.