India bans Eid prayers at Srinagar Eidgah in Occupied Kashmir
May 2, 2022 04:09 PM
Congregational Eid prayers will not be held at Srinagar’s rain-washed Eidgah grounds this Eid and the special namaz at the 15th-century Jamia Masjid in the heart of the city’s old quarters must be over by 7am to ensure public safety as terrorists could target the grand mosque milling with hundreds of faithful on that day. Eid al-Fitr begins Monday after sunset and ends next evening.
The Eid namaz at the Eidgah has seen breaks over the past couple of years for various reasons: disallowed because of Covid restrictions in 2021; held in 2020; but cancelled in 2019 as the entire Valley was under curfew. This year, the Eidgah’s custodian J&K Waqf Board decided against holding prayers there as the open grounds were wet from recent rain and the Met office has forecast more inclement weather.
So, like previous years, the faithful will have to offer their Eid prayers at local mosques or at home, a Waqf board official said.
The decision has upset many people, more so because the J&K government told the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, the mosque’s managing committee, on Friday to end its special Eid namaz by 7am. The Anjuman Auqaf’s request to the Waqf board to hold prayers at the Eidgah was also declined.
The authorities had earlier barred people from praying at the grand mosque on Juma-tul-vida (Friday, April 29) and Shab-e-Qadr (Thursday), triggering disappointment as devotees believe congregational prayers foster physical and spiritual communion of the ‘umma’.
The Eid namaz is, however, allowed at Dargah Hazratbal in Srinagar and the Waqf board set the prayer time at 10.30am to let people from across the Valley reach the place.