Srinagar: Barring historic Jamia Masjid and shrines and other worship places under J&K Wakf Board, Friday prayers were offered in most of mosques in the Kashmir valley since fresh lockdown was imposed in view of second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Though shops and other business establishments were open in Jamia market in the down town city, the historic Masjid remained closed for congregational prayers. However, some shopkeepers told a UNI correspondent that some people offered prayers in the Masjid during the day on Thursday.
The Kashmir division reported265 fresh COVID positive cases on Thursday, 200 less than last Thursday when the number was 466.
The main doors of Jamia Masjid remained closed and no prayers were offered in the worship place since holy month of Ramadhan when Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid (AAJM) announced suspension of prayers following increase in the COVID positive cases in the valley.
The AAJM, headed by Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) had said no prayers would be held in the Masjid till further orders. Mirwaiz remained under house arrest since August 4, 2019 a day before the Centre abrogated Article 370 and 35 A besides dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).
The Jammu and Kashmir Wakf Board has also announced suspension of all prayers, including Friday, in about 133 shrines and other worship places under its control in the UT J&K. Therefore, no prayers were held in Asaar-e-Sharief, Hazratbal , which houses the Holy Relic of Prophet Muhammad, on the bank of Dal Lake. The shopkeepers in the market adjacent to Hazratbal shrine alleged that they were forced to close their shops this morning by the police.
Similarly, no prayers were held at the shrine of Hazrat Mehboob-ul-Aalam, Hazrat Syed Sahib, Sonawar, Hazrat Gousal-ul-Azam at Khanyar and Sarai Bala, Khankha Moula and other shrines in Srinagar. However, in the interior parts congregational prayers were offered by the devotees.
Reports reaching from central Kashmir district of Badgam said no prayers were offered in main shrine, including the shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Nooruddin Wali at Charar-e-Sharie, and other worship place.
Similar reports were also received from south and north Kashmir, where main shrines and Jamia Masjids remained closed.
However, Friday prayers were offered in local mosques in the Kashmir valley, including Srinagar.