Srinagar, Dec 5 : For the first time, no congregational prayers were held on the birth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the founder of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference.
Police had put up concertina wires and blocked the roads leading to his mausoleum at Naseem Bagh on the banks of the Dal Lake here.
The administration has also imposed Section 144 in the area.
No one from Sheikh’s family showed up at the mausoleum.
His son and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and grandson Omar Abdullah are in detention since the revocation of Article 370 on August 5.
National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi told IANS that he raised the issue in Parliament on Wednesday to debunk the government’s claims of normalcy in Kashmir.
“I asked a question in Parliament that if the situation has normalised in Kashmir then why put restrictions on the congregational prayers on Sheikh’s birth anniversary?” Masoodi queried. “I went there and offered prayers but congregational prayers were barred.”
He said hundreds would converge at the grave every year on the National Conference’s patriarch birthday.
“It was the responsibility of the government to facilitate the presence of Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah at Sheikh’s mausoleum today,” Masoodi added.
A function of political workers and leaders was held at the National Conference headquarters at Nawai Subah Complex in Srinagar.
Sheikh’s birth anniversary is marked as a gazetted holiday.