Srinagar, Centre for Peace and Protection of Human Rights has submitted a petition before State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) seeking intervention of the Commission for allowing people to offer Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid Srinagar and Jamia Masjid Shopian. The petition has been submitted by CPPHR chairman Mir Mubashir Shujah.
Centre for Peace and Protection of Human Rights in its petition has submitted that the right to profess and practice faith and religion is internationally guaranteed Human Rights duly enshrined in United Nation declaration of Human Rights charter of 1948 to which India is a signatory and the said right has duly been endorsed in the constitution of India and to exercise this right is also available to the people of Jammu and Kashmir including the resident of Srinagar and Shopian in exercise of which they have a right to offer Friday prayers in grand mosque of Srinagar and shopian without any impediment.
The petitioner according to local news agency CNS has stated that both the Jamia Masjids of Srinagar and Shopian are locked from past 18 weeks and people are barred to enter into these mosques, which are totally unconstitutional. “The historical facts reveal that even in autocratic rule Jamia Masjid Srinagar or for that matter Jamia Masjid at Shopian has never been closed except when the state was under Sikh rule Jamia Masjid Srinagar was locked. Imposition of curfew or restrictions in a democratic set up is no excuse for locking of Jamia Masjid or any other Mosque. Even imposition of curfew around the areas of Jamia Masjid Srinagar or Shopian speaks about the incompetence of law and order machinery to deal with any situation. Detaining or house arresting any individual in a particular situation is understandable and even condonable, but restraining common people from offering prayers particularly on Fridays in a particular mosques can in no circumstances be excused more so when we are claiming to be governed by secular and democratic set up.”
The petitioner while terming the state action as direct interference into religious affairs of people has sought the intervention of State Human Rights Commission and has also prayed before the Commission to seek explanations from State Chief Secretary, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Inspector General of Police Kashmir, District Magistrate Srinagar and District Magistrate Shopian.