Srinagar's Jamia Masjid to reopen after a long breaktext_fields
Srinagar: Kashmir's largest mosque, Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, might reopen for Friday prayers after it was shut in August 2019, NDTV reported.
The Kashmir administration and police, including top officials including the Divisional Commissioner and the Inspector General of Police, visited the mosque on Monday and talked with the mosque management regarding its reopening for Friday prayers. They took stock of arrangements for its reopening.
The biggest cultural and religious centre in Kashmir, the mosque was closed after the abrogation of article 370 and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. Though the mosque was briefly opened, it was closed, citing Covid-19 restrictions. It remained shut for the last 30 weeks because it wasn't allowed to open for congregational prayers. The mosque, which had its most extended closure in recent history, had become the venue for protests, stone peltings and clashes between police and protestors.
The mosque could accommodate 50,000 people, and more occupies the lawns of mosque premises during congregational prayers. The 14th-century mosque, famed for its architectural marvel, is located at Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar. The closure of the mosque had also affected the nearby market, which was once bustling alive.
Meanwhile, the chief priest and Hurriyat conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he had been under house arrest since August 2019.
Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation Junaid Mattu welcomed the reopening through his tweet. He said, "The reopening of the Jamia Masjid is a welcome step in the right direction. Had written to the Hon'ble LG, seeking the reopening of the historic mosque. Hope to be able to pray at the Jamia soon, InshaAllah."