By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, March 27 (SocialNews.XYZ) J&K administration on Friday directed all district magistrates and district police chiefs to caution religious leaders not to call any public gathering across the union territory today.
In a statement, Rohit Kansal, spokesman of the government said, "DCs and SPs advised to strictly caution all religious leaders not to call any gatherings. Public gatherings a major source of social contact and spread of the virus".
Imams of all mosques in J&K have been advised to ensure that no congregational Friday prayers are offered anywhere today.
The advice has come from both healthcare officials, administration and religious scholars in J&K.
'Muezzins' (Those who call devotees to mosque) have been advised to continue the five-times 'Azaan' as mandated by Islam, but not allow any gathering inside the mosque building or the compound.
People have been advised to offer prayers at home.
The number of COVID-19 positive cases has already reached 14 in J&K while one infected patient succumbed in a Srinagar hospital yesterday.
Keeping in mind the sensitivity of Friday, security forces are strictly enforcing the 21-day long lockdown in Kashmir.
The strict compliance by the security forced to orders asking them not to allow any unnecessary public or traffic movement has resulted in a curfew-like situation which most locals argue is the only way to save lives in J&K.
Police has said they won't honour any identity cards of staff engaged in essential services who have been advised to obtain passes from concerned district magistrates.
The major problem with such a directive is that hundreds of people engaged in essential services and those civilians who sell medicines, milk, other dairy products, vegetables, mutton, fish, poultry or are working at LPG outlets and petrol stations might take weeks to approach the local DMs for their movement passes.
Public are demanding that genuine identity cards which public servants and small traders carry should be good enough to ensure there uninterrupted movement to prevent shortages across Kashmir.
(Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)