People offer prayers in historic Jamia Masjid of Srinagar after 135 days

People on Wednesday offered “Zohar” (mid-day) prayers in the historic Jamia Masjid in the down town Srinagar after 135 days.

Several hundred people joined the Mid-day prayers in the historic masjid, stronghold of chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, who is under house arrest since August 5, when centre scrapped Article 370 and 35 A, besides downgraded the state and divided it into two Union Territories. Mirwaiz used to address Friday congregation every week in the Masjid.

Local said due to sudden decision of the Masjid management to offer prayers this afternoon, not much people could join the “Nimaz”( prayers). As the news spread, more people would join in the “Asar”(afternoon) prayers, the local said.

Prayers in the masjid were suspended from the morning of August 5, when curfew was imposed in the entire Kashmir, including Srinagar and all gates of the worship place were closed for any public gathering.

Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) remained deployed outside the Masjid to prevent people from entering the worship place. However, after more than four months, police said that there are no restrictions in the area and people can offer prayers in the Masjid.

The management of the historic Masjid announced that prayers would not be offered till all CPMF are withdrawn from the area.

However, a group of journalists during their visit to the area saw CPMF and police vehicles still parked near the main gates of the Masjid.

The Jamia market and shops and business establishments in the Nowhatta and other adjoining areas were open.