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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Jammu celebrates first Eid after Article 370’s removal

Officials said 5,000 people came to Eidgah, the main venue, and offered prayers amid strict security arrangements.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2019 17:43 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Muslim men offer prayers during Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, in Jammu, India, Monday, Aug.12, 2019.
Muslim men offer prayers during Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, in Jammu, India, Monday, Aug.12, 2019. (AP photo)

Muslims in Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, celebrated Eid al-Adha or Bakrid on Monday amid security restrictions for the first time after the revocation of Article 370.

Jammu’s divisional commissioner Sanjeev Verma said Eid prayers were offered peacefully in all the 10 districts of Jammu region—Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Reasi, Rajouri, Poonch, Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda.

Officials said 5,000 people came to Eidgah, the main venue, and offered prayers amid strict security arrangements.

“At Eidgah here, civil society participated in the celebrations and I hope that this Eid is a harbinger of peace, prosperity and development for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Verma said.

“Eid is being celebrated with happiness and vigour. The prayers have been offered peacefully amid security arrangements. It is a very pious occasion and it must be celebrated with peace and happiness,” Jammu deputy commissioner Sushma Chauhan, who was also present, said.

Watch | People offer Eid prayers at Srinagar mosque valley amid tight security 

Authorities also eased restrictions across the Kashmir Valley and in other parts to allow people to pray and celebrate the festival of Eid.

“We received reports of the successful conclusion of Eid prayers from the Kashmir Valley in Baramulla, Ramban, Anantnag, Shopian, Awantipora, Srinagar and other places,” Rohit Kansal, the state’s principal secretary (Planning Commission) and chief spokesperson, said.

People from all walks of life came to the Eidgah and greeted each other after performing the Eid prayers.

After prayers, the head Mufti extended congratulations to the people of the state and the nation.

“On the pious festival of Eid al-Adha, I congratulate the entire humanity and I also request all Muslim brethren across the world to follow the path shown by Almighty Allah,” he said.

Opinion | The next steps in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh

“I also appeal to all the Muslim brethren as we celebrate Eid today that we should also follow the tenets of Islam in true spirit because doing so would keep this world going. I also appeal to people from all the religions that they should join the celebrations and greet their brethren with sweets and embrace each other with love and harmony,” he said.

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar, marking the willingness of Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son on God’s command.

They mark the holiday by slaughtering animals such as sheep and goats and the meat is shared among family and friends and also donated to the poor.

Hope for peace

Like several others, Sajjad Ahmed, who belongs to Kashmir, said he prayed for peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I extend Eid Mubarak to all from the bottom of my heart. I prayed for peace in the state and also prayed for an early end to the sufferings of Muslims in the sub-continent. Going by the circumstances in Jammu and Kashmir, I hope that peace and stability returns at the earliest,” the 35-year-old said.

Sajjad hoped people of the state would once again uphold the tradition of humanity.

Farman Ahmed also said he prayed that the prevailing circumstances are over as early as possible and “we live in total harmony in this paradise called - J&K”.

Manzoor Ahmed, 51, said he celebrated Eid with happiness and gaiety like others.

“The situation is normal. Schools have been reopened. People are resuming their normal routine but international media tried to mislead the outside world about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. There is nothing to worry about and Jammu and Kashmir and its people are totally safe,” said Ahmed.

Also read | Passengers struggle to reach their families from Srinagar airport

‘Restrictions will be lifted soon’

Jammu’s divisional commissioner Verma, who is head of the 10 districts, also congratulated people of the region for exhibiting wisdom and responsible behaviour.

“Barring a couple of stray incidents, media also reported with utmost responsibility. Those who indulged in wrong reporting were taken care of well in time,” he said.

When asked about the gag on the communication network, he said the mobile internet services will be resumed soon.

“The administration doesn’t want to disturb the 1.50 crore people of Jammu and Kashmir but certainly some trouble-makers, including rumour mongers, needed to be dealt with,” he said.

Also read | Pak Rangers skip Eid tradition at Attari-Wagah border, say no sweets for BSF

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 16:58 IST

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