Decision over imposing restrictions on Eid pending, say authorities

SRINAGAR: Although reports from several localities across the Kashmir valley have alleged that forces have asked people not to offer congregational Eid prayers, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has refuted the allegation and categorically said that there would be “no restriction” on congregational Eid prayers in Kashmir.

Earlier in the day, residents of HMT area of Srinagar outskirts said that forces had asked the senior citizens and the prayer leaders of the locality not to assemble for congregational prayers. “The forces also warned of dire consequences in case locals assemble for Eid prayers. They have asked local Imams to take responsibility of any untoward incident in case they try to offer congregational prayers on upcoming Eid-ul-Adha,” they alleged.

The Eid is scheduled to be observed on September 13, this year. Muslims, in case of fair weather, offer Eid congregational prayers in grounds, instead of structured mosques. The biggest congregation on Eid is witnessed at historical Eidgah in downtown Srinagar, which has been under strict restrictions for over two months now.

Similar reports of forcing asking people to not assembly for the congregational prayer were received from various districts including Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, Kupwara and Baramulla.

However Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, refuted the allegations, calling it a “rumour”.

“We have not taken any call on the matter. There is no any such order. We are yet to decide,” he said.

Defence Spokesman, Colonial NN Joshi also refuted the allegations, saying. “There is no any such order.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone, said that the district administration was monitoring the situation. “We will make assessment of the situation on Monday to decide whether to enforce section 144 on upcoming Eid-ul-Adha or not,” he said.