Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that the government’s decision to “close all major mosques and shrines in Kashmir on Eid” has “never happened in our history” and “will have a huge backlash”.
“People are saying that it is the rule of Jan Sangh and that’s why the doors of every major mosque and shrine have been locked by this government. People who had gone to offer prayers at Sayid sahib (shrine) in my neighbourhood were shocked to see it locked. People are very angry,” Abdullah told The Indian Express over phone from Srinagar. “We didn’t have such a situation ever in our history. They have closed all the major mosques and shrines and have disallowed people to offer Eid prayers there. They have disallowed prayers at Eidgah, Hazratbal, Maqhdoom sahib, Jamia masjid, even the Sayid sahib shrine in my neighbourhood. It is going to have a huge backlash.”
“I wasn’t able to offer Eid prayers. It has never happened before. We would mostly offer Eid prayers at Hazratbal (Dargah),” Abdullah said. “I was hoping to go and offer prayers at Sayid sahib (the shrine at Sonwar, which is very close to his Gupkar road residence). But the government didn’t allow Eid prayers there too,” he added.
In fact, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti too didn’t offer Eid prayers today.
The government has put the entire Kashmir Valley under strict curfew on Tuesday to prevent Eid congregations that could turn into public rallies for Azadi (freedom). A 19-year old man was killed in Bandipore in north Kashmir when he was hit by a smoke shell fired by the security forces. Around 20 people were injured when security forces opened fire at protestors in CM Mehbooba Mufti’s home town Bijbehara. There have been reports of protests from Shopian where three people were injured in security force action.