Thousands offer prayers on last Friday of Ramadan in Kashmir

September 26th, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Sep 26 (IANS) Muslims across the Kashmir Valley offered special prayers on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, with the largest congregation in summer capital Srinagar. There were no reports of violence from anywhere.Thousands of Muslims gathered at the Jamia mosque in old city area in Srinagar to offer ‘Jumatul Vida’ prayers.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, delivered the Friday sermon.

Farooq welcomed the cross-LOC (Line Of Control) trade between two parts of the divided Kashmir starting Oct 21.

“It is a positive development for people living on both sides of the divide in Kashmir. But we reiterate that elections under the Indian constitution are no alternative to the resolution of the Kashmir problem,” Mirwaiz Umer told the congregation.

After the Friday prayers, people raised anti-Indian and pro-freedom slogans, but dispersed peacefully later.

Reports of ‘Jumatul Vida’ prayers have also come in from all other major and minor towns in the Valley where Muslims turned out in large numbers to offer these special prayers.

Muhammad Yasin Malik, the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, offered Friday prayers at the Charar-e-Sharief Sufi shrine in central Badgam district. The shrine is built on the mausoleum of Kashmir’s patron saint Sheikh Nuruddin Wali fondly called ‘Nund Rishi’ by the local Pandit community.

Hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani, who had announced his decision to offer the Friday prayers at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar, was not allowed by the authorities to move out of his uptown Hyderpora residence Friday.

There were no reports of violence from anywhere in the Valley and the day ended peacefully here.

The administration had made elaborate arrangements of transport and other facilities for the devotees both in Srinagar city and other major towns of the Valley.

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