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Srinagar’s Jama Masjid, Cherar-e-Sharief, Pakherpora shrines reopen for prayers

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Following the SOP regarding Covid-19 strictly, Muslims offer prayers at Srinagar’s Jama Masjid after 150 days. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: After 150 days of Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions, Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jama Masjid on Tuesday threw open the Srinagar historic grand masjid for prayers. Cherar-e-Sharief and Pakherpora shrines in Budgam district also reopened.

Tuesday afternoon, as soon as the call for ‘Zuhr’ prayers (‘Azaan’) reverberated from the Jama Masjid loudspeakers, people rushed towards the mosque for prayers; many of them were seen kissing the doors and wooden columns of this masjid.

Hundreds of men and women offered congregational ‘Zuhr’ prayers while maintaining social distance, and adhering to other guidelines prescribed by the medical experts and the administration.

Interacting with the media on the occasion, the management of Jamia Masjid expressed gratitude over reopening of masjid for prayers. They also demanded immediate release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also the chairman of Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid, from over a year-long house-detention.

“Mirwaiz is like a soul of this sacred place. The pulpit of Jama masjid is waiting for Mirwaiz. We hope authorities will take our appeal on humanitarian grounds and ensure release of Mirwaiz so that he will address us on coming Friday,” a member of the management told media.

Pertinently, Auqaf of Jama Masjid had put in place all the SOPs and other precautionary measures including providing free masks and keeping the sanitizers handy inside the grand masjid.

On the occasion, the people also expressed strong anger and resentment over the “blasphemous videos”, and demanded stringent punishment to the culprits.

Meanwhile in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, two vital religious places were opened for prayers after a gap of five months.

On the orders of divisional administration Kashmir, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Chadoora on Tuesday threw open two shines including Chrar-e-Shareef and Pakerpora. Both places had been closed for religious activities on March 16 after Covid-19 outbreak across J&K.

At the occasion, SDM directed the management of both sacred places to ask people act upon SOPs strictly while coming for prayers. As per the guidelines, children below 10 years and the elderly above 60 years of age have been directed to stay away from visiting the religious places.

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