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JAMMU: National Conference Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana and another senior leader Mr T. S Wazir on Tuesday greeted and joined thousands of devotees during a grand and massive Nagar Kirtan at Gandhi Nagar here, held as part of the celebrations of Prakash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singhji, the tenth Guru of Sikhs. The entire area reverberated with the rendition of Shabadand other hymns besides the constant chant of Wahe Guru and Jo Bole So Nihal by the participants, who included representatives of Sangats from different places, pervaded the entire atmosphere. 

The devotees comprising men, women and children were reciting kirtan while youngsters played Ghatka. Hundreds of people on both sides of roads greeted the Nagar Kirtan. Greeting the people, Mr Rana said that Guru Gobind Singhji relentlessly fought against inequality and superstitions and established the Khalsa Panth. Through his poetry, Guruji preached love, equality and ethical as well as moral code of conduct, he said, hoping that Gurupurab would be more meaningful if the people take time to reflect upon the life and teachings of Guruji, which apply today more than ever.  The Provincial President also hoped that Prakash Utsav of Guruji would be observed in the true spirit of the State’s composite culture and prayed for peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir.

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  • ‘81.78 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at Sanctum Sanctorum in 2016.’

JAMMU: On the occasion of New Year, Governor N. N. Vohra, Chairman Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board today visited the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji along with the First Lady, Mrs. Usha Vohra and prayed for peace, progress and prosperity of the State. Governor took stock of the facilities for the pilgrims and inspected the to-date implementation  of material and the passenger ropeway projects. He also discussed with the Chief Engineer, Sh. Madan Mohan Gupta, the drawings of Waiting Hall-cum-Ticketing Centre which are being constructed on the rooftop of the Manokamana Bhawan for the passengers of the upcoming Passenger Ropeway between Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati. Governor asked Dr. M.K. Kumar, Addl CEO to ensure the completion of both the Ropeway Projects within the fixed timeframe and, advised Sh. Anshul Garg, Addl. CEO (pilgrimage) to see that the pilgrims in the ongoing rush, do not face any difficulty whatsoever.

During 2017, till 31st December night 81,78,318 pilgrims visited the Holy Cave Shrine, thereby registering an increase of about 4.54 lakh pilgrims over the number in 2016. On his return journey, Governor along with both the Addl. CEOs Dr. M. K. Kumar and Mr. Anshul Garg, and Mr. M. M. Gupta, Chief Engineer, inspected the ongoing work to install sheds to cover the Marg and gave directions regarding the time frame for full implementation of the entire project. Governor also took stock of the work for the hill slope stabilisation along the Tarakote Marg.

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  • Prayers in Kashmir’s grand Mosque allowed after three Weeks

SRINAGAR: To offer congregational prayers, thousands of devotees on Friday thronged Kashmir’s grand Mosque Srinagar which remained closed for continuous past three weeks due to the restrictions imposed by the government. The Masjid remained locked by the authorities for almost 18 Fridays during the year 2017 including on Juma-tul-Vida (the last Friday of Ramadan). Pertinently, following the alleged lynching incident of senior Police official in June this year, no congressional prayers were allowed in Jamia Masjid Srinagar on the occasion of Jumatul Vida (the last Friday of Ramadan), the first time in the living history of Kashmir. 

Kashmir’s chief cleric and chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who usually delivers sermon before the Friday prayers, was also confined to his house on several occasions in 2017.  Much to the disappointment of thousands of devotees who would normally offer Friday prayers, the huge deployment of forces deployed in the locality has become a routine practice of the government particularly aftermath the 2008 Shrine Board Agitation. 

 

In 2016, after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani the Grand Mosque (Jamia Masjid) remained locked for 19 weeks, it was the longest period after Maharaja Rule that Jamia Masjid  was locked down. Meanwhile, Mirwaiz today addressing a mammoth gathering at Jamia Masjid Srinagar hit out at the ruling regime for putting curbs in downtown and disallowing Friday prayers at Jama Mosque repeatedly and termed it as act of oppression and vendetta against the innocent people of downtown for their unflinching support for the movement. He said, however, these curbs were not going to break their resolve.