Srinagar: The Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid Srinagar has expressed surprise and resentment over the closure of central religious places including the historic Jama Masjid Srinagar, Asare-e-Sharif Dargah Hazratbal, Khanqah-e-Moula and Astaan Aalia Makhdoom sb (RA) for Friday prayers by the administration under the guise of COVID-19, terming this attitude of the rulers as extremely regrettable and appalling.
The Anjuman in a statement said that after a long gap, Jama Masjid Srinagar was reopened last Friday for prayers and worship. The Anjuman Auqaf had ensured that people who came to the mosque for prayers fully follow the COVID SOP guidelines.
“But today, the authorities closed not only the Jama Masjid and other central and important places for Friday prayers, but on the contrary, an attempt was made to create an atmosphere of fear and panic by deploying heavy military contingent around many central places of worship,” it said.
The statement added that due to the closure of central mosques, people at many places offered prayers on streets and outside compounds in protest and expressed their indignation against the attitude of the rulers.
The Anjuman said it was ironic that on one hand all concerns regarding Covid were being ignored when it comes to asking people to participate in official functions, while on the other hand restrictions are being imposed on Friday prayers and worship in central mosques, shrines and imambaras where Covid SOPs are being fully followed.
Apart from seeking removal of restrictions on the Jama Masjid as well as all other major places of worship, the Anjuman Auqaf has demanded immediate release of Mirwai Umar Farooq, who is detained under house arrest for the past 25 months and is been forcibly barred from performing important religious duties such as Friday prayers for more than two years now.
Asserting that authorities were crossing all limits regarding interference in religious affairs which was a matter of great concern to the people of Kashmir, the Anjuman demanded immediate removal of these undue restrictions