Juma prayers offered in Masajid despite advisory

From Zeeshan Mirza

KARACHI: The Sindh government ‘s decision regarding a ban on congregational prayer could not be implemented fully on Friday as people flocked to various mosques in Karachi and other districts to attend the congregational prayers.
In a video, which went viral on social media, the station house officer (SHO) of Kharadar can be seen inside New Memon Masjid in the port city’s Kharadar locality appealing to the people to return home as the mosque is closed.
“The government has made the decision for your safety. When Holy Kaaba is closed and the Saudi government is planning to cancel Hajj, then why are you insisting to come inside and offer prayer. The mosque committee has also agreed to close its doors to the public, so please go and pray at your home. This is my request,” the police official can be heard as saying on a loudspeaker in the video.
But the crowd of people standing outside the mosque became emotional and started chanting slogans. This compelled the police officials to open the mosque’s doors. The same situation was witnessed in Defence View Phase 2, where the police, using loudspeakers, were requesting the people to go back to their homes, but all in vain.
“Life and death is in the hands of Allah. The western countries have created fear in the name of the virus. We will prefer to die, but can’t stop congregational prayers,” said Qadeer Khan, who was standing Quba Mosque in Defence View. Multiple mosques were open for congregational prayers in the districts of Hyderabad, Larkana, Mirpurkas and Sukkur. In another video, a police officer was seen appealing on a loudspeaker, asking people to return to their homes, but a large number of people offered their prayers on the road.
At a mosque in Sukkur, people were kept at a distance after they insisted on offering prayers. Police later arrested more than a dozen individuals. Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, while chairing a meeting on Friday, took strong exception to people offering congregation prayers in mosques.
“We have to make sure that the government’s decision is implemented. Why are crowds of people are roaming in various areas and why did they attend Friday prayers,” an official privy to the development told The Express Tribune. “I once again appeal to the people of this province as well as the country to please stay at home,” he said.