Eid-ul-Fitr, culminating the fasting month of Holy Ramadan, was today celebrated across the state with religious fervour and gaiety.
People, including women and children, in colourful dresses were seen marching towards Eidgahs, Jamia Masjid, shrines, mosques and open spaces to offer prayers.
The announcement that moon (crescent) of “Shawal” month of Muslim calendar was sighted announced by Grand Mufti, Mufti Bashiruddin late last night in Srinagar immediately after Pakistan said that Eid would be celebrated on July 6.
Earlier, Muslim scholars in Shia dominated Kargil had announced that Shawal moon has been sighted and Eid festival will be on July 6. This is after more than four decades that people in Arab world and some south Asian countries are celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr together.
Majority people in the state had offered “Taraveh” prayers when the announcement was made in Srinagar.
Immediately after the announcement, streets were crowded by people, purchasing bakery and other eatables while children were seen singing and dancing in joy.
However, majority people had already made purchases of essentials and other items for the festival.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, Chairman Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali, speaker Kavinder Gupta, former Chief Minister and president of National Conference (NC) Dr Farooq Abdullah, working president NC Omar Abdullah and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC)chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir and other mainstream and separatists leaders have also greeted people on Eid.
Meanwhile, intense clashes between forces and youths took place in Kashmir. The biggest congregation of Eid Namaz was held at Eidgah where thousands of Muslims turned up for mandatory prayers.
Hurriyat Conference (m) chief, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was scheduled to lead the prayers but he was barred by authorities from moving out of his Nigeen residence early this dawn today.
As Imam Hai led two-rakat-Eid prayers, intense tear gas and flash bang shelling was happening on Nalabandh road near Sekidafar. Police and youth clashed with each other as Muslims said their prayers. The continuous shelling created uneasiness, however, the stage managers of Eid prayers intermittently directed faithful to remain calm. The forces even resorted to aerial firing. The main from Soura to Sekidafar was was completely blocked by forces.
Top separatist leadership was detained in their homes and thus stopped from participating in Eid congregations today.
87 year old Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house detention since he returned from New Delhi. His deputy Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai has also been arrested at his Baghat home since Jumat-ul-Vida.
JKLF chief, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Pir Saifullah, Shabir Shah, Javaid Mir and others too were put under house detention since early today. Pir Saifullah was scheduled to lead prayers at Sopore.
As Eid prayers concluded at Hyderpora man Jamia Masjid, youth took to streets held strong protests against continuous arrest of Geelani, Clashes followed and several youth were reported as having got injured.
Since 2010 civil uprising, Geelani and Mirwaiz have been continuously been barred from participating in Eid prayers in Kashmir.