Srinagar: Why has the government stopped Friday namaz in Jamia Masjid?

J&K Lieutenant Governor (L-G) administration has denied permission for the traditional congregational prayers on the last Friday before Eid at the historic Jamia Masjid

Jamia Masjid
Representation Image

As Ramzan draws to a close and Muslims across the world prepare to celebrate Eid with family and friends, news that the Srinagar district administration has denied permission for prayers at the Jamia Masjid has come as a shock. Permission has been denied for the Jumu’atul-Wida a.k.a. Alvida-ki-Namaz, the congregational prayers to be offered on the last Friday of Ramzan. 

According to news reports, the J&K Lieutenant Governor (L-G) administration denied permission for the traditional congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on Shab-e-Qadr, or night-long prayers, and for Jumu’atul-Wida. A spokesman of the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, caretakers of the mosque told the media that “government and police officials, headed by a magistrate, visited the Jamia Masjid premises on Wednesday” and “conveyed that the authorities have decided not to allow Shab–e–Qadr and Jumu’atul-Wida prayers.”

The mosque was closed after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under article 370 on August 5, 2019. It was opened briefly, but closed again due to the Covid-19 pandemic, stated news reports.

The  People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an alliance of leading political parties of J&K has called this a “direct interference in people’s religious affairs.” PAGD spokesman and CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami told the media that this move was “unacceptable and reprehensible. It will bar thousands of people from offering the congregational prayers inside the historic mosque. It amounts to direct interference in the people’s religious matters.” 

According to National Conference (NC) vice–president Omar Abdullah, the government’s decision revealed much. He asked, “If the government claims the situation is normal, then why have the prayers been disallowed at the historic Jamia Masjid?” Abdullah added that the government “is proving that the situation is too far from normal. Linking tourist arrivals with normalcy won’t do.” The PDP president Mehbooba Mufti added that “not only are scores of youth being picked up on a daily basis but even mainstream representatives like sarpanches are being held captive by the administration. 



According to a news report the Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also Valley’s chief priest, called the government’s move “outrageous and against the fundamental human right to religious practice.” He said, “The central Jamia mosque would see people in lakhs offering prayers on these occasions. Such orders are against Muslims.” The Hurriyat asked that the authorities “revoke the ban on prayers and allow Muslims across the Valley to access the central Jamia Masjid on these very important and holy days of Ramadan.”

The India Today reported that the UT government decided not to allow the last congregational Friday prayers at the mosque after Jammu and Kashmir police arrested 13 people allegedly “for shouting pro-azadi slogans” during Friday prayers. Police told the media that the decision to disallow the prayers was taken “as they did not want to take any chances and it would be an uphill task for them to manage such a huge crowd.” A senior police official was quoted by the Indian Express as saying, “Traditionally, it is a huge congregation and it can easily spiral into an Azadi protest. It would be difficult for us to manage such a huge congregation.”


Meanwhile security beefed up in UP, Karnataka

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, elaborate police deployment has been made at 31,151 mosques and Eidgahs across Uttar Pradesh. This reportedly includes 48 companies of provincial armed constabulary (PAC), seven companies of central paramilitary force and over 1.25 lakh civil police personnel. Police have also reportedly “approached at least 38,000 Muslim clerics to ensure peace during the prayers.”

The additional director general (ADG), law and order, Prashant Kumar told the media, “Strategic police deployment is made to ensure peace and maintain law and order situation as we expect large crowds at different mosques and Eidgah for the Friday prayer.”

Security around mosques and Eidgahs has also been beefed up in Mumbai, and “additional police force has been deployed in the Muslim-dominated areas and the areas that have a communally mixed population,” stated the HT. Local police also reportedly issued an advisory “asking Muslim groups and organisations to instruct community people to avoid offering Friday prayers in public places if it causes inconvenience to citizens.” Additional police forces have been deployed in communally sensitive areas in Karnataka, especially in the coastal region of the state.   


Meerut: Local BJP leader threatens cop, says will hold Hindu prayers on Eid eve.

72 percent of Mumbai’s mosque hold off on loudspeakers

Why the indigenous language movement in J&K’s erstwhile Doda is crucial

AIUFWP urges UP governor to act against hate politics

Assam: Committee proposes selective census, IDs for Assamese Muslims



Related Articles