LG orders security upgrade at Kashmir shrines after Tral blaze
SRINAGAR: Unknown miscreants on Monday night set ablaze a prominent Sufi shrine in the restive south Kashmir’s Tral, prompting the administration to step up security at places of worship across the Valley.
Reports said a portion of the shrine named after Mir Syed Muhammad Hamdani (RA), located in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, was gutted in a mysterious blaze in the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
A senior police officer said a portion of the shrine, meant for the women devotees, was damaged in the blaze that broke out at midnight.
Locals said the main shrine was also partially damaged in the mysterious blaze. Soon after the news about the fire broke out, locals around the shrine came out and used buckets and other items to douse the blaze with water.
“A case has been registered while as the investigation into the matter is going on. Meanwhile, section 144 was imposed in the area as a precautionary measure,” a news agency said.
Tensions rose in the area as the news of the blaze at shrine spread.
A J&K Police spokesperson said in a statement: “Yesterday at about 2320 hours miscreants attempted to desecrate the local shrine of Mir Syed Mohd Hamdani (RA) at Kousarbal Tral which resulted damage to the portion of the mosque meant for offering prayers by the women folk. The damage was immediately controlled by locals and Fire & emergency services.”
“Police has taken the cognizance of the act under relevant sections of the law and investigation is on to nab the culprits behind the miscreant act,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu on Tuesday asked the police chief to strengthen security of shrines across the Union Territory following an attack on the Dargah of Mir Syed Mohammad Hamdani in Tral area of south Kashmir.
The Sufi shrine, adjacent to a local mosque at Kounsarbal (Krusbal) Mohalla in the Old Tral Township, was allegedly set ablaze by miscreants on the intervening night of November 25-26.
According to police, the structure was partially damaged and some window panes and matting were charred by the time the fire was put out.
Condemning the attack by calling it “cowardly”, the LG said such acts are designed to arouse passion among the people and hurt their sentiments but they will not be tolerated, an official spokesperson said.
He said that the perpetrators of the heinous act will not be spared and shall be brought to justice, he added.
Police have registered a case and launched a manhunt to nab the culprits, the spokesperson said.
Murmu has appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm and not get swayed by rumours.
The LG has further directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to strengthen the security of shrines across J&K.
He has also asked the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir to take immediate measures to restore the vandalised Sufi shrine to its original pristine condition, the official said.