Eid prayers offered at Kashmir’s Idgah after two decades

November 14th, 2007 - 2:13 am ICT by admin  
Srinagar, Oct 14 (ANI): Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramzan, was celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety across the Kashmir Valley on Sunday amid unilateral ceasefire called by militants.

The truce call by militants ahead of the festival allowed people to offer Eid prayers at the historic Idgah here for the first time since violence erupted in the Valley about 20 years ago.

Scores of Kashmiri Muslims thronged the Idgah on the occasion.

The chairman of the moderate faction of separatist Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who also came to offer Eid prayers, called upon the governments of both India and Pakistan to put forth their proposed solutions to resolve the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

He said that after the two sides come out with their solutions, separatist would also put forth their proposals to solve the dispute.

He went on to say that elections and economic packages were not the solutions for the disputed issue, and they would not be part of such exercise.

The decision to hold Eid prayers at the Eidgah grounds in the heart of old Srinagar after 20 years had sparked tensions between the two factions of the separatist Hurriyat Conference.

On September 26, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani announced during a press conference that the Eid prayers would be offered at Eidgah.

A week after Geelani’s announcement, Mirwaiz came out with a statement that they too would offer prayers at the Eidgah.

Interestingly, both Geelani and Mirwaiz factions of the Hurriyat chose the same time of 10.30 a.m. for the Eid prayers. After this, Geelani convened a press conference on October 11 and took back his call for the Eidgah programme, saying he would offer prayer at the Hazratbal shrine.

He alleged that Mirwaiz gave a call for Eid prayers at Eidgah at the behest of the Centre, and also expressed apprehensions that the AAC activists may resort to violence during the Eid congregation. (ANI)

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