Allow Friday prayers at Jamia before lifting Muharram ban: Ruhullah to admin

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Kashmiri Shia politician, Ruhullah Mehdi has asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to lift the ban on Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid before lifting ban on Muharram processions in the valley.

The National Conference leader’s comments come after an order doing rounds on social media read that the administration has lifted ban on Muharram processions in Kashmir.

This was later acknowlegded by Sajad Lone led, Peoples Conference leader, Imran Raza Ansari. Ansari who over the years has lost support from the region’s Shia populace welcomed the government’s decision for allowing the processions, “We at All Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association welcome the Govt’s decision to allow Muharram procession in Kashmir after a gap of 3 decades. Inshallah AJK Shia Association will lead the procession this year as per past practice.” He tweeted. 

However, the former PDP legislator whose political tweets are often met with backlash was once again called out, “It did not happen when you were in power, how can it happen now,” a user replied refering to the ban on the Muharram processions during his and his father’s tenure as ministers in the former state.

Muharram processions in Kashmir stand banned since the inception of armed insurgency in the valley. The administration fears that the gatherings can turn into anti-India protests, which is why the attempts to take the processions out have been met with force. Last year scores of Muharram mourners were injured in government forces action after they had tried to take out the processions. The police had later said that the mourners had raised anti-national slogans, refering to pro-freedom sloganeering during the processions in Bemina and othe Kashmir areas.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Mehdi who is a three time legislator saw ‘nefarious designs behind the governments sudden allowing of the Muharram gatherings’, “If the Friday prayers and other major religious functions (across all religions) continue to be banned and this particular procession suddenly encouraged in isolation. In that case, I see nefarious designs behind it.The people should not fall for this bait and into this trap.” Mehdi wrote on his Twitter handle.

In another tweet he said, “To answer those questions and to make it clear that there are no nefarious designs behind this decision,this 10th Moharram procession should be preceded by Friday prayers at Jama Masjid before this 10th Moharram. Friday prayers before this year’s 10th Moharram should precede.”

He further asked the admin to come clean on the decision, “Therefore the responsibility lies with the administration to come clean. Now that the time for Eid prayer this years has passed. Lift the ban on Friday prayers at Jama Masjid too, like you suddenly took this decision and prove that there are no nefarious designs.”

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