Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of sacrifice also known as ‘Bakra Eid’, will be observed today with religious fervor across Jammu and Kashmir.
A huge congregational Eid prayers gathering are expected at Srinagar Eidgah and Aasar-e-Sharif Dargah Hazratbal here, besides in Eidgahs, Masajids and Shrines across the State where Islamic clerics will throw light on the significance of Eid-ul-Azha.
As per the Islamic teachings, on this Eid, which is being celebrated on the 10th of the Islamic calendar’s last month, Dhu’l-Hijjah, a spiritual Muslim offer a goat or sheep as a sacrificial animal while one camel and a calf will suffice for the vow of seven Muslims.
Allah ordered Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Peace be upon him). When the blindfolded father moved the blade on his son’s throat to carry out the divine command, an animal from heaven replaced Ismail (Peace be upon him).
It is to celebrate the absolute submission of Prophet Ibrahim to Allah’s command and the saving of Ismail’s life that Muslims offer animal sacrifices on Eid-ul-Azha.
The Muslims Ummah as per Islamic teachings will start performing the act of sacrificing animals following the congregational Eid prayers.
Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Azha to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s (Peace be upon him) willingness to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismaeel (AS).
Meanwhile, on Fridayt, the markets in Kashmir especially the commercial Hub Lal Chowk and other adjacent areas in Srinagar witnessed a huge rush of shoppers from past several days, who were seen buying essentials and other food stuff for the Eid.
While queues of buyers were seen outside bakery and mutton shops, the most crowded places in the city were the makeshift animal markets, especially at the Eidgah ground in the old City.
The other main attractions were on bakery products. Cakes, pastries, cookies and biscuits sold like hot cakes. Some of the better known bakery shops in Srinagar had taken orders as long as a month back.
The traffic cops deployed on Srinagar roads had also a tough time regulating the flow of vehicles.
The volunteers including boys and girls were also assisting them to ensure the smooth movement of commuters.
Meanwhile, the authorities in view of the Eid have formulated a comprehensive Traffic Route Plan to ensure smooth flow of vehicular movement.
Makeshift bakery shops, pavement vendors and hawkers carting their goods have choked all the major roads in Srinagar as traffic policemen threw up their hands surrendering to the merriment of buyers and sellers.
Prices were nobody’s bother and it looked as if the various regulatory authorities had decided not to play spoilsport while Eid shoppers emptied their purses to the demands of the shopkeepers.
Officials of the consumer affairs and public distribution department, however, asserted that market checking squads were out to control prices, but because of staff shortages they were not very conspicuous.
Sacrificial animal markets have come up at every imaginable space in the city wherever a herd of sheep and goats can be parked.
Fresh restrictions in Kashmir in view of Friday prayers
Fresh restrictions were imposed in parts of Kashmir on Friday as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of congregational prayers, officials said.
Normal life continued to remain affected across the valley for the 47th consecutive day with markets closed and public transport off the roads, the officials said.
Restrictions under Section 144 CrPc have been imposed in few areas of the valley to maintain law and order, the officials said.
They said the curbs have been imposed in Nowhatta and adjoining areas in downtown (interior city) and Anchar area of Soura police station in Srinagar.
The restrictions have also been imposed in Kupwara and Handwara police districts and the main towns of Ganderbal, Anantnag and Bijbehara, the officials added.
Security forces have been deployed in strength in vulnerable areas in the rest of the valley, they said.
The officials said the curbs were a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of apprehensions that vested interests might exploit the large Friday prayer gatherings at big mosques and shrines to fuel protests.
Friday prayers have not been allowed at any of the major mosques or shrines – including Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta or Dargah Sharief in Hazratbal – in the valley for the past over a month now.
Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on August 5 when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union territories. The restrictions were lifted in phases from many parts of the valley.
Internet services have remained suspended across all platforms, they said. While landlines across the valley were functional, voice calls on mobile devices were working only in Kupwara and Handwara police districts of north Kashmir, they added.
The efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne fruit as parents continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety.
Most of the top-level and second rung mainstream politicians, including three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, continued to be in detention or under house arrest.
While NC president Farooq Abdullah was first placed under house arrest, he was on Tuesday booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
His son Omar and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti were detained on the night of August 4 — hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the state into two Union territories.
Most of the mainstream leaders, including former ministers and legislators, were also either detained or kept under house arrest, the officials said.
Ignoring protests, Gates Foundation to give Narendra Modi global award
New York: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be awarding the Global Gatekeepers Award to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in India’s achievement sanitation, the organisation has announced.
“Modi is receiving an award at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the progress India is making in improving sanitation, as part of its drive toward achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” the Foundation said in a statement to IANS on Wednesday.
“Sanitation is a key factor in improving the health and well-being of millions of people, especially women and children,” it added.
Modi is being recognised by the foundation in New York on September 24 for the Swachh Bharat Mission of which the constructions of toilets is a key element.
A motley collection of Indian secularists, Pakistanis, activists and entertainers have opposed the award to Modi alleging he was responsible for human rights violations and for India rescinding the special status for Kashmir.
Some influential US media also published articles demanding that the Foundation cancel the award.
The publications include Foreign Policy magazine’s website, and Washington Post that is owned by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, which has disputes with the Indian government. The Post published an opinion article by two Indian-origin lawyers.
An organisation called S Asian Philanthropy published in the Medium a letter signed by people of Indian origin and others representing various foundations and NGOs.
National Public Radio reported that a dozen demonstrators with “Stop Genocide, a project of the American human rights group Justice For All”, delivered a petition with 100,000 signatures to the Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle protesting the award for Modi.
The radio also said that three Nobel Peace Prize winners – Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman of Yemen and Mairead Maguire of Britain – had also sent the Gates a protest letter.
Army nabs Gurdaspur man on charges of spying for Pakistan
Gurdaspur, September 19: A resident of Tibri village here was nabbed by Army officials for allegedly providing photographs of the cantonment area and the under-construction Kartarpur corridor to someone in Pakistan, police said on Thursday.
Vipan Singh was held by Army personnel on Wednesday, said Kulwinder Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), Purana Shalla police station in Gurdaspur.Officers of the military intelligence were still questioning Singh, the police said, adding that he was yet to be handed over to them.
The suspect was allegedly offered Rs 10 lakh for providing sensitive information, though it was yet be verified, the police said.Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur up to the border is being built by India.
The Kartarpur corridor will connect Darbar Sahib–the final resting place of Guru Nanak in Pakistan’s Kartarpur–with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib