Except Jamia mosque, night-long prayers held in Kashmir mosques and shrines

Srinagar, March 19 : Except Srinagar’s historical Jamia Masjid, night-long prayers were held in the major mosques and shrines on ‘Shab-e-Barat’ (the night of forgiveness). ‘Shab-e-Barat’ is one of the holiest night between 14 and 15 of Sha’ban, the eight month of the Islamic calendar. Large congregations were held on Friday night at Hazratbal shrine and other mosques and large devotees attended the night long prayers. However, no prayers were allowed at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar old city, the managing committee of the mosque said. Anjuman Auqaf, Jama Masjid said a magistrate along with police officials visited the mosque and informed them that no night long prayers on Shab-e-Baraat function would be allowed at the mosque. “It asked the managing committee to close the mosque,” the Anjuman said, adding the mosque was later closed. Many devotees expressed disappointment for closing the mosque on Shab-e-Barat. Anjuman expressed deep dismay at the “authoritarian attitude” of the administration by once again locking the historic Jamia Masjid on the important occasion of Shab-e-Baraat. In a statement, the Anjuman said “such a harsh measure can only be called infringement upon and interference in religious practices of people.” Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti hit out at the government saying the Government of India was “deliberately shutting” the doors to instill a sense of “crushing disempowerment and despondency”. “After besieging & tormenting Kashmiris in every possible way, the only solace for people here is religion. GOI is deliberately shutting the doors to instill a sense of crushing disempowerment & despondency. Criminally cruel to say the least,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter. MJR SHK1625

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