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Eid prayers disallowed in Kashmir

On April 10th, India once again disallowed Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the historic Jamia mosque, triggering condemnation from religious leaders and protest from local communities.

On the day of Eid, local sources inform us that police personnel closed the gates of the mosque after Fajr prayers (dawn prayer), informing the mosque committee and local worshippers that the Eid prayers scheduled for 9:30 am would not be permitted. 

The chief preacher of the mosque, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was placed under house-detention and when he attempted to leave the house, was forcibly held back by the police officials. 

This is for the fifth straight year since the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s nominal political autonomy in 2019 that Eid prayers were not allowed at the historic mosque.

Earlier, Jamia, which is the biggest mosque of Jammu and Kashmir, was also locked down for congregational prayers on Laylat Al-Qadr and Jumat-Ul-Vida while Mirwaiz was put under house arrest on these occasions too. He was also stopped from addressing a press conference at his Srinagar residence.

Speaking to The Wire, Mirwaiz had said that the closure of the mosque was akin to “spiritual oppression” and an “attack on the religious freedom and rights of Kashmiri Muslims”. 

Earlier this month, Darakshan Andrabi, who heads the Jammu and Kashmir Wakf board, the BJP-controlled managing body of some important shrines and mosques in Kashmir, said that Eidgah ground in Srinagar, where congregational Eid prayers were held in the past, would also not be allowed to host the Eid prayers.

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