Congregational Friday prayers offered in Srinagar's Jamia Masjid after 16 months6 August 2021
Srinagar: Congregational prayers were offered on Friday in Srinagar's historic Jamia Masjid by following Covid-appropriate behaviour after a gap of 16 months since the outbreak of the pandemic. Devotees arrived at the 16th-century mosque amid stringent security arrangements made by the authorities to maintain law and order, officials said. They said police personnel were deployed in large numbers to ensure security in the area as the first congregational prayer inside the mosque in over a year came a day after a suspected IED blast outside a mosque premises in Nowhatta. A few dozen women offered prayers in an enclosure marked for them at the mosque, officials said. The Anjuman Auqaf, which manages the historic mosque, had earlier announced that Friday prayers will be held this week since Covid cases have slowed down and prayers were now being held in all central mosques, khanqahs, shrines and Imambaras of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the Anjuman Auqaf had made it clear that the devotees have to follow the guidelines of medical experts and strictly adhere to Covid standard operating protocols during the Friday and other daily prayers. Friday prayers were held at the 16th century mosque for the first time on December 20, 2019, after August 5, when the Centre announced the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.