Jammu and Kashmir: After 134 days, people pray at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar

WION Jammu and Kashmir Dec 18, 2019, 05.22 PM(IST) Written By: Ieshan Bashir Wani Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

Jamia Masjid, Srinagar. Photograph:( WION )

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Dozens of people from the surrounding areas gathered as the call for prayer - Azaan - was heard in the vicinity, a local told WION.

After remaining closed for 134 days, the gates of historic Jamia Masjid in the old city of Srinagar were thrown open for the public. 

Dozens of people from the surrounding areas gathered as the call for prayer - Azaan - was heard in the vicinity, a local told WION.

The authorities had imposed restrictions in the valley following the abrogation of J&K special status on August 5 this year. These restrictions were severe in Srinagar as protests mostly escalate in the area. 

“We are very happy. This is the place of God and worship. They (authorities) had closed the mosque which shouldn’t have been done,” said a local who came to offer prayers at the mosque.

As the restrictions were eased with the improvement in the situation, the committee looking after the grand mosque had demanded authorities to remove the security forces outside the area. 

“We had requested authorities to remove the forces deployed outside the mosque. We also had to sanitise the praying areas as it was closed for four months,” said a committee member.

However, it remains to be seen if the authorities allow Friday congressional prayers to happen in the mosque as clashes between protestors and security forces are frequent on the day. 

On Friday, the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the head priest, delivers the sermon from the same mosque. Umar was detained and later kept under house detention by the authorities in Srinagar.