No Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid Kashmir on 19th straight week

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Jammu:Amid the claims of normalcy in Kashmir Valley by authorities, the historical Jamia Masjid remained locked down on Friday and as such the congregational prayers could not happen there on 19th straight week. Moreover prepaid mobile and internet services of all cellular companies including government owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) remained suspended while several mainstream political leaders are still languishing in MLA hostel which has been converted in sub-jail.

Wilayat Times reports that according to JKNS, authorities on Friday disallowed congregational prayers at historical Jamia Masjid for 19th straight week. As per locals, forces had laid siege around the Grand Mosque on Friday and no one was given permission to enter inside. They said the main gates of the Mosque were closed by the authorities and big chunk of Police and CRPF personnel had deployed there to contain the situation.

“As the congregational prayer time approached on Friday, several elderly persons including kids tried to venture inside the Masjid but forces deployed at the main gate of the Mosque didn’t allow them to enter inside”, locals added.

However the exterior portion of the Mosque remained busy throughout the day with light and heavy motors plying to several destinations. “During early hours of the day, some shops and business establishments remained open but by noon shopkeepers downed their shutters and returned to their homes”, a local said.

Meanwhile, though there was no official restriction in any part of the Valley, including Srinagar, the Central Paramilitary Forces including personnel of Jammu & Kashmir Police remained deployed at several sensitive locations which included civil lines and down town parts.

However people particularly students, media persons, trade body continued to suffer due to constant suspension of internet services. Notably authorities on August 4 suspended all communication services in Jammu and Kashmir hours before the central government scrapped Article 370 and 35A that gave special status to erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Though landline phones and post-paid mobile services were restored gradually till October 14 however internet services including Broad Band across Kashmir Valley is yet to be restored.

Meanwhile dozens of mainstream politicians including three former chief ministers Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti besides several former ministers and legislators remained under detention since August 5.