Srinagar, May 13: Eid-ul-Fitr, culmination of Holy fasting month of Ramadhan, was celebrated on Thursday in the Kashmir valley, where main shrines, mosques and other religious places remained closed in view of continued surge in COVID-19 positive cases and deaths.
People, who had offered Tawareeh last night and prepared meals for “ Sehri” (pre dawn meals) for starting fast, were taken by surprise when announcements were made from mosques past mid-night that Shawal moon has been sighted and Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Thursday. However, those who could not hear announcements, have taken their Sehri and were fasting until this morning when they were told about Eid.
Majority of the people complained that they could not purchase essentials for the festival because of
strict lockdown on Wednesday when nobody was allowed to move out of their homes by security forces.
Amidst strict corona curfew restrictions Eid was today celebrated in the Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where security forces and police personnel were deployed in strength to implement the restrictions to prevent further spread of deadly virus.
Muslims were greeted by their non-Muslim friends on the occasion. People were also greeting each other, including relatives, on phones instead of visiting their homes due to COVID-19 scare.
However, the main shrines and mosques remained closed in Srinagar, outskirts and elsewhere in the valley.
The Jammu and Kashmir Wakf board had announced closure of the 133 shrines and other worship places under its management in view of the COVID-19. The shrines which were closed included Asaar-e-Sharief , which houses the Holy Relic of Prophet Muhammad, at Hazratbal on the bank of Dal Lake, Syed Sahib at Sonawar, Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadeer Jeelani at Khanayar and Sarai Bala, Hazrat Mehboob-ul-Aalam Mukhdom Sahib and other worship places in Srinagar.
The historic Jamia masjid, in the down town city also remained closed. The Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid (AAJM), headed by chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HM) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, had announced closure of the Masjid last month in view of sudden surge in corona virus positive cases.
Mirwaiz is under house arrest since August 5, 2019, when the Centre scrapped Article 370 besides dividing J&K into two Union Territories (UTs). The main gates of the Masjid remained locked and police personnel deployed to prevent people from entering the worship place.
No prayers were also held at Eidgahs and open fields.
However, people offered Eid prayers in local mosques in the interior parts of the city, keeping social distance and wearing mosques. Large number of people offered prayers in their homes as advised by the Muslim ulmas and scholars.
No prayers could also be held at the shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Nooruddin Wali at Charar-e-Sharief and Pakherpora shrine besides main Imambaras and shrines in the central Kashmir district of Badgam.
Similar reports were also received from central Kashmir district of Ganderbal and north and south Kashmir districts.