SRINAGAR: Authorities have disallowed congregational Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar for the fourth consecutive week.
All gates of Jamia Masjid were locked by government forces while all roads leading to the historic mosque were blocked with concertina wires.
Curfew was imposed in the area to prevent people from assembling at the mosque.
Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who addresses the faithful every Friday continues to remain under house detention.
In a tweet, he said: “Strict curfew imposed. Friday prayers again disallowed for the fourth consecutive week at #JamaMasjid. PDP has completely brazened it out….”
Yet in another tweet with reference to the locking down of Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz wrote: “As part of anti Muslim anti #Kashmir nexus it is beyond redemption!”
From past decade, Jamia Masjid remained locked for weeks together particularly during Amarnath Land Row in 2008, Peoples Uprising in 2010 and 2016. Even in 2009, when Kashmir was on boil over Shopian rape and murder incident, prayers were disallowed by Omar Abdullah led government for many weeks.
In 2010, Grand Mufti of Kashmir Mufti Bashir-ud-din while terming the restrictions on congregational Friday prayers at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid “infringement on the peoples’ fundamental religious rights had warned of issuing an edict in this regard.
“To bar people from offering prayers at gunpoint is highly condemnable. It is undemocratic and unconstitutional. We urge the Organization of the Islamic Conference to take serious notice of the curbs on religious freedom, and killings and arrests of people here,” said separatist leader Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi.
Another separatist leader Nayeem Ahmed Khan also condemned the restrictions on the Fridayprayers saying the government is“willfully usurping the people’s rights to fulfill a religious obligation” on Fridays.