Barring stray incidents of stone-pelting, Eid prayers passed off peacefully across Kashmir amidst precautionary measures which saw top separatist leaders being placed under house arrest ahead of the occasion.
Hazratbal shrine witnessed the biggest Eid congregation with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his predecessor Omar Abdullah joining more than 60,000 devotees in offering Eid prayers, officials said. The rival leaders also exchanged Eid greetings in a gesture of warmth that delighted those present.
The second largest congregation, they said, had gathered at Eidgah where nearly 50,000 people offered Eid prayers, marking the culmination of the holy fasting month of Ramzan.
More than 25,000 people offered prayers at Polo Ground in the city while smaller gatherings were recorded at all major shrines and mosques in the Valley, they said.
Large congregations were seen at the Baramulla and Anantnag districts headquarters as well, they added.
Even as the prayers passed off peacefully everywhere, police said that a few isolated incidents of stone-pelting on security forces occurred in the city and Anantnag town in south Kashmir.
Nobody was injured in these clashes and police and other agencies were able to restore law and order within a short span of time.
Top separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan and Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai were placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure, the officials said.
Mufti Sayeed, Omar Abdullah greet each other
Thousands of devotees at Hazratbal Shrine were in for a pleasant surprise today when J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his predecessor, Omar Abdullah embraced each other and exchanged greetings on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr.
As soon as the Eid prayers were over, Mr. Sayeed walked over to Mr. Omar and the two leaders from rival parties of the state exchanged Eid greetings.
The leaders embraced each other as per the Muslim tradition on the occasion.
“We wish the two leaders and their parties could come together and cooperate with each other on issues concerning the common masses,” Ghulam Mohammad Shiekh, a resident of Hazratbal and supporter of National Conference, said.
Mr. Sheikh said while the ruling PDP might differ on policies with the National Conference, there should be no differences in ameliorating the problems of the masses.