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Friday, December 9, 2022

‘Unacceptable’: Jamia Masjid shut for Friday congregation for 20th straight week

Authorities on Friday stopped congregational Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar for the 20th consecutive week.

Jamia Masjid, the 14th-century building, is the only major place of worship in the valley closed for congregational prayers by the authorities.

The officials did not give any reason for the continued closure of the mosque, which was shut down initially in August 2019 in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 by the Centre.

The mosque was briefly opened in December 2019 but closed again in April as part of the government curbs on large gatherings to combat the Covid wave.

Prayers were allowed on the first Friday of August this year but since then the mosque has been closed.

Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar, which manages the affairs of the mosque, expressed strong resentment over the decision.

“The Anjuman and the Muslims of Kashmir are unable to understand that on the one hand, all the places of worship, mosques, shrines, imambargahs, and khanqahs in Jammu and Kashmir are open for Friday prayers, but only Jamia Masjid Srinagar continues to be selectively banned and restricted from holding Friday prayers, which is extremely unfortunate and incomprehensible,” the Anjuman said in a statement.

It said the decision to close the mosque was “tantamount to sheer interference in religion and hurting the religious sentiments and feelings of Muslims”.

“This is unacceptable,” it added.

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