Jama Masjid in Srinagar closed by authorities on February 25. Photo: Mirwaiz Manzil

By The Wire Staff

New Delhi: Authorities reportedly banned the congregational Shab-e-Baraat prayers on Sunday, February 25, at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. Meanwhile, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was scheduled to deliver the sermon there, was also placed under house-arrest.

In a statement, the managing body of the Jamia Masjid, which is Kashmir’s largest mosque, alleged on Monday that the authorities “forcibly” closed the mosque’s gates on Sunday, February 25 before the commencement of the Shab-e-Baraat prayers while Mirwaiz, who was scheduled to address the worshippers at the mosque, was “put under house arrest”.

However, no official order was issued to this effect.

The congregational Shab-e-Baraat prayers are held at night on the 15th of Sha’ban, the eight month of the lunar calendar and a fortnight before the beginning of the month of Ramzan when Muslims across the world observe dawn-to-dusk fasts to seek salvation.

“In these days of Sha’ban preceding the holy month of Ramzan when mosques are reverberating with prayers and religious ceremonies, the central Jama Masjid, the most important religious centre of the valley, is silenced,” said Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid, the managing body, in the statement.

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