Friday prayers allowed at Jamia after three weeks

Friday prayers allowed at Jamia after three weeks
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  • Mirwaiz slams government for failure on civic issues
  • Criticises social media gag on state employees

Srinagar: After three consecutive weeks, the government allowed congregational Friday prayers at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid.
Scores of people offered the prayers with Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq slamming the government for a complete failure on the administrative front. He said that Jammu and Kashmir has been turned into a “military” state and also that people are suffering during the intense winter.
Addressing the faithful from the pulpit of Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, which was closed for prayers for three consecutive Fridays, Mirwaiz observed that the current situation in J&K was “undergoing worst phase”. “The current political dispensation in power has crossed all lines of killings and oppression,” he told the gathering of Muslims before the mandatory congregational Friday prayers.
“In the name of CASO (cordon and search operation), military operations are being carried out in winters when there is intense chill and people are being taken out in the cold… their homes are destroyed, inmates are beaten, excesses are done to women and children are beaten,” said Mirwaiz.
He said that search operations in Chillai Kalan –the 40-day harsh winter’s period– have added to people’s woes. “On the one side there is this oppression, and then there are the killings of innocents,” he said.
Referring to the recent civilian killings, the Hurriyat chairman said Misra Begum and Ruby Jan –two mothers killed by forces – had two babies “but still they were martyred”. Misra was killed in Kupwara while Ruby was killed in Shopian in alleged firing by government forces.
“In south of Kashmir… in north of Kashmir, in villages, rural areas, such is the height of oppression and suppression that it was never seen happening in our past,” he added.
In a scathing attack on the social media gag on the government employees, Mirwaiz said, “Then there is a gag on freedom speech and comment of government employees… they have been denied the basic right of speech.”
“This pure example of autocracy and dictatorship prevalent in J&K state is found nowhere in the world,” he said.
According to him, the people of the state were being denied religious, human and political rights “at the behest of power”. “Now the situation has come to this point that we can’t talk or profess the word of Allah and His Messenger (SAW),” he said referring to government ban on his religious programme at Dastgeer sahib Shrine in Khanyar on Thursday. “I was disallowed to move out of my home and attend the religious program.”
He said that the resistance leadership is allowed to move out for a day and then again jailed and arrested. “This is shame, unfortunate for this government,” he said as the faithful rose in chorus chanting pro-freedom and anti-government sloganeering.
“This is not wrong to say that the J&K state is practically a police state where there is police Raj in vogue,” he added. “Everything has been given in the hands of police and security forces who do whatever they want; they have become more loyal than the king,” he said.
Turning to civic issues, the Mirwaiz tore in to the claims of J&K government. “The government and the administration has miserably failed,” he alleged. “These pro-India political parties always brag about the mandate of development of roads, power and water but what is the condition of roads in valley,” he questioned.
From Chenab Valley to Kishtwar to Doda, the Mirwaiz said, “we every day hear about accidents and the people being killed.”
Raising the crisis of water, he said that there was no water available in the villages. “Our women are being forced to go out in the cold and fetch water,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that despite J&K having huge water resources, there was no electricity. “There is no need to talk about it as there is load shedding for 15 long hours,” he said. “These are basic needs and are related to peoples’ needs, but the government has failed on that front as well.”
“Those in government have only one basic motive, and that is to cling to their chair of power,” he said. “But people are suffering.
“We want to make it clear it that the oppression of the people of J&K from all sides makes it apparent there is a policy of revenge against the local populace at all levels. This oppression won’t make us cow down but will make us strong,” he said as the faithful sitting before him raised slogans, including: “Stop state terrorism, stop the killings of innocents”.
“The curfew, the restrictions, the closure of Jamia by the government are aimed to make us weak, but with God’s grace and our commitment, we will continue this struggle for our basic right for which we give sacrifices,” the Mirwaiz added.

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