Even as the signs of normalcy are visible on the ground in Kashmir, the administration continued to bar people from offering the mandatory congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid for 15th consecutive week today. However, only a few thousand devotees participated in congregational prayers at Dargah Hazratbal shrine on the Friday following Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (SAW).The Jamia Masjid located in Old City area of Nowhatta in Srinagar is witnessing siege from last 15 consecutive weeks, which begin following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status (Article 370) and bifurcation of the erstwhile State into two Union Territories.Witnesses told the wire service –Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that all the four gates of the historic Jamia Masjid continued to remain locked for 15th consecutive week today while a huge contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in and around the grand Masjid since the wee hours of this morning.They added that the people were not allowed to offer Friday prayers at the Masjid from last 15 consecutive weeks.
Meanwhile, thousands of devotes thronged the Dargah Hazratbal shrine today and participated in the mandatory congregational prayers.The devotees also had a glimpse of holy relic after every prayers today, eye-witnesses told KNO, adding that special prayers held today at the shrine in view of the Friday following Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (SAW).They said that emotional scenes were witnessed at the shrine when the devotees had a glimpse of holy relic today. “People were seen raising hands and praying for their wellbeing while having the glimpse of holy relic,” they said.The religious cleric at the shrine threw light on the teachings and life style of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), they said. However, devotees rued lack of arrangements by the administration today, stating that the arrangements out in place by the officials were not up to the mark, leaving the devotees to lurch at large.It is worth to mention here that for the first time in Kashmir history, the Milad celebrations and prayers at the Dargah Hazratbal shrine were foiled by the administration by imposing restrictions a day ahead of the Eid-e-Milad on (12 Rabi-ul-Awwal), the birth day of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).Nonetheless, the shops and other business establishments remained open till afternoon today while as the passenger vehicles although less in number were seen ferrying passengers at many routes especially in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk. (KNO)