Srinagar, May 11: Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jama Masjid Srinagar stated that on the eve of fasting of month of Ramadan and especially on Fridays, thousands of people from across the valley including far off districts reach the historic Jamia Masjid to listen to the Friday sermon and to seek blessings of Almighty Allah, and offer Friday prayers but the presence of government forces in large numbers around the Masjid creates an atmosphere of fear among the worshipers and the use of live ammunition against the devotees after Friday congregation triggered chaos all around.
In a statement issued here, the Anjuman spokesman while strongly denouncing the use of lethal pellets against the worshipers that include women, children and elderly stated that the deliberate presence of government forces in large numbers around the Masjid is damaging the centrality and sanctity of the masjid which is the spiritual centre of lakhs of Kashmiris.
AAJ said the deployment of government forces in huge numbers before the prayers also gives ample opportunity to certain vested interests to foment trouble around the mosque and to damage the sanctity and sacredness of the grand masjid. He said that the Ajuman has time and again called on the administration to ensure no deployment of government forces around Jamia Masjid on Fridays but the frequent pleas seems to be falling on the deaf ears as forces remain deployed in large numbers as seen on first Friday of the holy month.
The Anjuman spokesman said that the way prayers are held peaceful in Kashmir’s major shrines, Masjids and Imam Baras with zero deployment of government forces, same model should be applied for Jamia as well so that people offer prayers in a free and peaceful atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the spokesman said that all the religious sermons of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for the first ten days of fasting month (Ashra-e-Rahmat) have been out on hold due to the ill health of Mirwaiz. Stating that Mirwaiz was not keeping well since past one week, the spokesman urged people of Kashmir to pray for the speedy recovery of the chief cleric of Kashmir so that he can resume the process of delivering religious sermons in the holy month as per the tradition of Mirwaizeen.