COVID-19 lock down; No congregational prayers in most shrine, mosques in Kashmir

Srinagar : No congregational Friday prayers were held in most shrines and mosques in the Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, in view of the 84-hour-long COVID-19 lock down which commenced from Thursday evening following surge in the corona virus positive cases.

All religious leaders have also said that people can offer prayers in their homes to avoid further spread of deadly virus.

The Anujman Auqaf Jamia Masjid (AAJM) had already announced that the historic worship place will remain closed for all congregational prayers till further orders.

The Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association (JKSA) headed by Imran Raza Ansari has also announced that due to present pandemic situation and spike in COVID-19 positive cases all Friday congregations prayers and other majlis have been cancelled.

The Union Territory (UT) administration had imposed corona lockdown from 1900 hrs from Thursday and till 0700 hrs on Monday in Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Badgam, Kulgam, Pulwama and Ganderbal in the Kashmir valley.

The historic Jamia masjid in the down town Srinagar remained closed. A UNI correspondent who visited the area today saw all the gates of the Masjid were closed.

AAJM is headed by Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, who is under house arrest since August 4, 2019, a day before centre abrogated Article 370 and 35 A besides divided the Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).

Though the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf board has announced that 133 shrine and other mosques under its management will not be closed, no Friday prayers were offered in large number of shrines and mosques.

The Auqaf Board had appealed to people to offer prayers in their homes to avoid further spread of virus.

However, the board further appealed that less number of people should offer prayers in shrine and mosques after keeping social distance and wearing masks properly.

The main gates of dozens of shrine, including Hazrat Naqashband Sahib, Khankahi Moula shrine of Hazrat Mir Sayyed Ali Hamdani and Gous-e-Azam Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani at Khanyar were closed.

No Friday prayers could be offered in majority mosques on main roads in the down town and civil lines and other areas of Srinagar. However, prayers were offered in mosques in the interior areas and devotees could be seen wearing masks and keeping social distance.

Friday Prayers also could not be offered at the shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Nooruddin Wali Charar-e-Sharief in the central Kashmir district of Badgam.

Similar reports were also received from other parts of the valley.

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