Hyderabad, July 1 (IANS) Muslims in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh offered prayers to mark 'Jumatul Vida' or last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, amid tight security measures.
Huge congregations were seen at mosques across the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and oither cities and towns in the two Telugu states.
The biggest gathering at the historic Makkah Masjid in the old quarters of Hyderabad passed off peacefully.
Despite the rains, thousands of devout offered prayers in the mosque, sprawling lawns and roads adjoining the mosque and the historic Charminar.
Elaborate security arrangements were made around Makkah Masjid and other mosques in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Police diverted traffic at few points around Charminar.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) organised annual 'Yaum-ul-Quran' or Quran Day meeting at Makkah Masjid. Addressing the meeting, MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi urged Muslims, especially youth, to make most of the remaining days of the holy month by offering prayers and seeking forgiveness from Allah.
Police made additional security arrangements in view of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) busting an alleged module of Islamic State (IS) with the arrest of five suspects. The agency said they were planning terror attacks at crowded places, including religious sites.
The youth, who were arrested in raids in various parts of the old city on Wednesday, were sent to judicial custody for two weeks by a Special NIA Court on Thursday.
With rumours about bombs being planted at public places doing rounds on social media, Police Commissioner M. Mahendar Reddy appealed to people not to believe the reports. He said police had taken adequate security measures to ensure peace and public order.
About 2,000 policemen and personnel of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed at Makkah Masjid and other major mosques in the old city as part of the security arrangements for Friday prayers.
Huge congregations were also seen at Shahi Masjid in Public Gardens, Masjid-e-Azizia and other mosques in Hyderabad.
The 'imams' or priests called upon people to pay 'zakath' and 'Fitra' (charities) to the poor to ensure that they also celebrate Eid.