Majid Kapra

No big congregations held on Jumat-ul-Vida

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Srinagar: For the second consecutive year, the Jumat-ul-Vida (last Friday of Ramzan) congregational prayers were not held at major shrines and Masjids across Jammu and Kashmir including Hazratbal and historic Jama Masjid.

The shrines and major Masjids across the Valley remained closed in wake of the lockdown imposed by the government in order to prevent the deadly virus from spreading, though smaller congregations were held in smaller mosques in many residential colonies with people adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) including wearing of face masks and maintaining social distance.

Traditionally, thousands of people from across the Valley would throng the central Jama Masjid at Nowhatta area in old city and Dargah Hazratbal and other shrines to offer congregational Friday prayers on Jumat-ul-Vida every year.

Roads leading to Dargah Hazratbal were sealed with concertina wires and iron barricades today to thwart people from gathering at this place for big congregation. Police and paramilitary CRPF were also deployed to ensure no one violated the prohibitory orders.

The Anjuma-e-Auqaf Jama Masjid has already announced suspension of congregational prayers in the grand mosque last month as a precautionary measure to avoid further spread of coronavirus.

A huge deployment of police and paramilitary forces were deployed around the grand mosque at Nowhatta in old city and its main entrances locked to avoid any gathering.

Administration as well as religious clerics of the Valley have  asked people to follow health advisories properly and avoid gathering in mosques and shrines till the virus threat subsides.

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