The Jammu and Kashmir administration has disallowed congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid and Dargah Shrine in the Hazratbal area of Srinagar, for the fourth consecutive week.
Chief executive officer, Waqf Board, Mufti Mohammad Fareed-ud-din, said that the authorities have asked them to allow only 25 people inside the shrine for the prayers.
According to an advisory issued by the authorities only 25 people are allowed to gather in , the congregational prayers are not being held in majo mosques and shrines across the valley for the fourth consecutive week.
“My own staff is more than that. How can we allow just 25 people inside,?” he said, adding it is not possible and that the prayers will not be held today.
Earlier, shrines and mosques were shut due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the valley. However, the congregational prayers were allowed at Jamia Masjid after four months as it had remained off-limits for prayers due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The secretary of the Imam of Jamia Masjid, Imam-e-Hai, said that they have received a similar order from the authorities. He said that the congregation itself means assembling a large group of people, “It makes no sense if only 25 people are allowed to offer the prayers,” he said.
He further said that on a normal day, there are around 1,000 number of people offering the prayers. The number increases largely on Fridays. “It is not possible [to lead the Friday prayer for such a small gathering],” he further said.
Meanwhile, according to reports the admin has also disallowed prayers at Hyderpora Jamia Masjid for the second consecutive week.