Amid the loudspeaker controversy, stringent security has been put in place in Lucknow, the state capital for the ‘Alvida namaz’ offered on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramzan today. The ‘namaz’ will be offered at mosques after an almost two-year hiatus.
Only five people were allowed to offer namaz in a group during the Covid-19 pandemic. India’s Islamic Center Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali, the head and Imam of Aishbagh Eidgah, has appealed to the people to keep the calm and follow the Covid-19 procedures, said a report by the Statesman.
The old city’s security has been beefed up, especially in light of the continuing controversy over ‘azaan’ and ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ recitals around the country.
Mosques, large and small, have been decorated for ‘Alvida namaz,’ and the surrounding regions have been cleaned up. Tents have been erected to provide shade from the blazing sun. Several Hindu organisations have set up stalls where individuals who are not fasting can get’sherbet’ and water.
According to a report by Times of India, the Uttar Pradesh police deployed up to 10,000 officers around the state. The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) has also been deployed in the state’s most vulnerable districts. UP 112 has been ordered to be on high alert and patrol vulnerable areas. The Central Reserve Police Force also held a flag march in the Old City neighbourhoods (CRPF).
Prashant Kumar, the additional director general of police, law and order, revealed that before the ‘Alvida ki Namaz,’ he had communicated with as many as 29,808 religious clerics and heads. “We’ve identified 2,846 vulnerable spots where central paramilitary forces will be stationed with district police units,” Kumar added.
According to Kumar, namaz will be offered at 7,436 Eidgahs and 19,949 mosques throughout the state, with all security procedures in place.
Authorities not to allow Shab-e-Qadr’, Jumat-ul-Vida’ prayers at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid
Authorities in Kashmir have decided not to allow Shab-e-Qadr’ and Jumat-ul-Vida’ congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid here, a move denounced by mainstream and separatist parties. The decision to not hold the congregational prayers was conveyed to the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid — the managing body of the grand mosque on Wednesday night.
The government and police officials headed by a magistrate visited the Jamia Masjid premises after iftar and conveyed to the Auqaf members that authorities have decided not to allow Jumat-ul-Vida congregational prayers to be held in Jamia Masjid on the last Friday of Ramadhan, as well as no prayers or Shab (night-long prayers) to be allowed on Shab-e-Qadr at the historic mosque, a statement issued by the Auqaf said. It said the managing body strongly denounces this decision of the authorities.
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) termed the administration’s directive as highly deplorable. The authorities, according to reports, have asked the managing body of the Jamia Masjid, not to offer prayers on Shab-e-Qadar and Jumat-ul-Vida, the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. The move will bar thousands of people from offering the congregational prayers inside the historic mosque, alliance spokesperson M Y Tarigami said.
Since it amounts to direct interference in the people’s religious matters, the move is unacceptable and reprehensible, he said. Tarigami said the PAGD urges the administration to reconsider its decision forthwith and allow the people to offer the prayers. He said Jamia Masjid is a historic place and people have deep devotion with it. Such moves tantamount to hurting the religious sentiments of the people, he said.
National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah termed the ban on congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid as unfortunate, saying the administration by its actions was proving that the situation in Kashmir was far from normal and contrary to what it has been claiming. That is unfortunate. They say that the situation is almost normal. If it is normal, then why no permission to Shab and Jumait-ul-Vida (prayers) in Jamia Masjid?, he told reporters here.
Muslim bodies appeal for calm ahead of eid
Muslim bodies have appealed for calm and peace ahead of Eid next week in the wake of the recent communal violence.
An open letter signed by the President of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and 14 other bodies, said: “All Muslims should remain calm and composed both on their way to the Eidgah and also while returning home. They should not fall prey to anyone who tries to provoke and instigate them. Use very careful and clear language in the Eid sermon, so that nothing you say can be distorted.
“Religious festivals that provide an opportunity to foster mutual brotherhood, love and unity have been turned into a means of spreading hatred and furthering vested political interests by the anti-social and evil elements. Among all these developments, the month of Ramzan continues with the Eid-ul-Fitr coming a few days later.
“Muslims gather in large numbers on the last Friday of Ramadan and the ‘Lailatul Qadr’ (27th of Ramadan). Muslims should celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr by sharing their joys with their compatriots, making it an occasion for developing cordial relations with all and establishing peace and amity.”
The letter further said that no anti-social and evil element should get a chance to create mischief.
To curb anti-social elements, the Muslim bodies have advised holding of meetings with peace committees in their respective colonies and localities.
“If anyone tries to do mischief, then lodge a complaint with the local administration. Hold meetings with the local administration and try ensure that they will not allow the law and order to be affected under any circumstances.
“Meet with the representatives of other religions at the state, district, and local levels. An appeal should also be issued to them so that people do not do anything under the pressure of any political party or any mischievous group which will spoil the atmosphere of the country,” the letter added.
The bodies also called for efforts to ensure the presence of important personalities and journalists outside the Eidgah, as well as the provision of CCTV cameras.
Responding to the appeal, Maulana Jalal Haider Naqvi of the All India Shia Council, said that “this is a precautionary measure so that community doesn’t get involved if provoked but maintain peace and harmony”.
With inputs from PTI, IANS