Congregational prayers were offered in major mosques and shrines in Kashmir on Friday for the first time since the nationwide lockdown to contain the COVID-19 crises was imposed in March, officials said. The Friday congregational prayers were also held at the historic Jamia Masjid here, they said.
The officials said men and women offered prayers while observing the social distancing norms and other preventive measures were also undertaken. Th standard operating procedures (SOPs) and other protocols and guidelines were strictly followed at the Jamia Masjid and other major mosques and shrines, they added. At the Jamia Masjid, the worshippers had brought prayer mats along with them for offering prayers, the officials said.
They said the management committee of the grand mosque offered free masks to those who were not wearing one. On the occasion, people made special prayers to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, they added.
Religious places in Jammu and Kashmir were re-opened on Sunday after remaining shut for about five months due to the lockdown. The Jammu and Kashmir administration on August 4 decided to open religious places and places of worship from August 16, but religious processions and large gatherings remain prohibited.
People and the management committees of all the religious places have been directed to follow the guidelines and SOPs strictly. Any deviation from the SOPs would attract penal action under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.