Jummatul Vida and Shab-e Qadr prayers have been cancelled in view of unabated rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at historic Jamia Masjid, which remained closed for congregational prayers since April 29, in downtown Srinagar.
The Union Territory on Wednesday hit another grim milestone with a record single-day spike of 4,716 Covid-19 infections and 52 deaths.
A spokesperson of the Aniuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid (AAJM) said that Jummatul Vida and Shab-e-Qadr programmes at the grand mosque have been cancelled due to exponential rise in COVID-19 cases and lockdown, which has been imposed in the wake of second wave of Coronavirus.
“The people should spend these holy occasions especially the last 10 days of Ramazan at their homes by holding special prayers, dhikr-o-adhkaar and manaajaat besides pray to Almighty Allah to grant us complete refuge from the deadly virus,” he said in a statement issued here on Thursday.
The Anjuman stressed upon the people to religiously follow the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) and guidelines, saying the priority must be to save lives and prevent the virus from spreading.
“The best way to do that right now is to stay indoors. It also reiterated its appeal to people to get administered with Covid vaccine,” he added.
AAJM is headed by Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, who is under house arrest since August 4, 2019, a day before centre abrogated Article 370 and 35 A besides divided the Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).
Meanwhile, no congregational Friday prayers were held last week in most shrines and mosques in the valley, including Srinagar, in view of the COVID-19 lock down that was imposed on April 29 following surge in the corona virus positive cases. The lockdown was later extended till Thursday and then till May 10 in the valley.
Jammu and Kashmir Waqf board has also suspended prayers in 133 shrine and other mosques under its management. The main gates of dozens of shrine, including Hazrat Naqashband Sahib, Khankahi Moula shrine of Hazrat Mir Sayyed Ali Hamdani and Gous-e-Azam Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani at Khanyar were closed.
The Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association (JKSA) headed by Imran Raza Ansari has also announced that due to present pandemic situation and spike in COVID-19 positive cases all Friday congregations prayers and other majlis have been cancelled.
The extension in the lockdown in the valley has come in the backdrop of unabated rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Kashmir, particularly the summer capital, Srinagar, which has recorded the major chunk of positive cases during the last about 25 days. Srinagar alone, out of 4,716 new Covid-19 cases in J&K, reported 1125 cases on Wednesday, while Baramulla recorded 505 cases followed by Pulwama with 362 cases, Budgam with 277 cases, Anantnag with 255 cases, Kulgam with 238 cases, Kupwara with 148 cases and Gandrebal with 108 cases. Fresh Covid cases in rest of the districts — Shopian and Bandipora — in Kashmir are in double digits.