Protest against mosque desecration in Kashmir

July 23rd, 2012 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, July 23 (IANS) A mosque in a Jammu and Kashmir village was torched, leading to a shutdown in the area Monday and street protests as locals demanded that the arsonists be brought to justice.

According to witnesses, scores of slogan shouting villagers took to the streets in Badgam’s Wohangam village, about 25 km from here.

Markets and business establishments shut down and traffic was suspended in the adjacent Magam town on the Srinagar-Gulmarg highway as news about the mosque desecration spread.

The mosque had been torched Sunday night.

“The wooden frames, doors and windows on the second floor of the mosque was torched by miscreants. This has resulted in tension,” Abdul Rashid, a villager, told IANS over telephone.

Senior police officers rushed to the area and assured the people that the guilty would be punished.

The government has advised all shrine committees in the valley to depute ‘watch and ward’ staff at religious places.

It has also directed police to increase night patrolling following the torching of some shrines in the valley in recent months.

On June 25, the shrine of Muslim saint Peer Dastgeer was gutted in a mysterious fire incident in Khanyar locality of Srinagar.

Last week, the 600-year-old shrine of a local saint, Baba Hanief-ud-Din, was destroyed in a mysterious fire in Badgam’s Rathsun village.

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