India-administered Kashmir: A group of masked youth Friday went inside the historic ‘Jamia Masjid’ in Srinagar and raised pro-IS slogans and the official IS flag, while one of them desecrated the mosque’s pulpit by standing atop it with his shoes on.
The incident took place shortly after the Friday prayers ended at the mosque.
An eye-witness said the masked youth appeared in the mosque and shouted pro-IS slogans while carrying its flag.
The video of the incident has also gone viral showing one of the masked youths standing on the pulpit waving the IS flag.
This is the most significant and disturbing event of 2018 #Kashmir. #Kashmiri youth,s please keep away from #ISIS …
#ISIS #srinagar #JamiaMasjid #Pakistan #Pulwama #HopeOnUnder19 #brooklyn#ENIGMA #Balochistan #Hurriyat #SaturdayMotivation #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/jj5yxf4Fsr
— aarifkhan (@aarifmdkhan164) December 29, 2018
In the video, a person tries to stop him as well but the youth pushes him away.“They shouted slogans for few minutes and later disappeared when they were chased by the people,” the eyewitness, said.
“These masked youth were around 10 in number. People chased them but could not catch hold of any one of them,” he added.
On Saturday, Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, the caretaking body of the significant mosque, condemned the incident. “Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid has strongly condemned the incident that took place in Jamia Masjid on Friday late in the afternoon after the namazis had left,” said a spokesman, in a statement.
He said a group of some masked boys entered the mosque and rushed to the pulpit. “One among them stood atop the pulpit with his shoes on, screaming slogans and creating ruckus,” the spokesman said.
“In the meantime, his associates videotaped it and the video has been put on social media. This clearly indicates that this incident was deliberate and planned,” said the spokesman.
He said the incident has led to shock, outrage and deep resentment among people and deeply hurt their sentiments associated with the Masjid.
“The attempt to desecrate Jamia Masjid by this lumpen group of hooligans whose identity is not known as yet as they hide it behind masks, nor at whose behest they are indulging in these shameful acts is strongly condemnable,” he said.
“It shows utter disregard of this group of miscreants for Islamic institutions, values and Islamic teachings. Such elements not only malign the name of Islam but also abuse it.”
He said the Auqaf has taken strong note of this shameful incident and warns those elements or agencies behind this incident that people and Auqaf will not tolerate or allow anyone to violate the sanctity of the Masjid and the pulpit at any cost.
“Jamia Masjid is the spiritual religious and political centre of people of Kashmir and our collective cultural heritage and any attempt to harm it will be firmly dealt with,” he said.
Kashmiri militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Mehmood Shah has strongly condemned the waving of IS flag in historic Jamia Masjid Srinagar and desecrating the pulpit of the grand mosque.
A spokesperson of LeT Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi in a statement issued to GNS quoted Shah as saying that “youth must recognize the fact that the terrorist organization ISIS is brought up by India-Israel-US nexus.”
“The only vicious motive of this organization is to malign the Jihad and image of Mujahideen. Those who are promoting ISIS intentionally must come into their senses and reform themselves. ISIS is the end of Islamic State, not the other way around,” LeT chief said.
Mehmood Shah further said that New Delhi is exploiting the “immature” youth for its “vicious motives”. “But they (New Delhi) will never succeed. The condemnation statement by Joint Resistance Leadership is based on facts. We are the heirs of Kashmir’s indigenous freedom struggle and will never allow anyone to malign it,” he said. Meanwhile, the Lashkar chief has paid tribute to “commander Ashfaq Wani and four freedom fighters” of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) who were killed in a gunfight with forces on Saturday.
On Sunday, ISJK’s al-Burhan Media released a statement on the incident.