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JRL condemns intrusion of masked boys on Jama Masjid pulpit

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ISIS flags and slogans inside Jama Masjid…

Srinagar, Dec 29: Joint Resistance Leadership Saturday strongly condemned the Friday’s incident at Srinagar’s Jama Masjid Srinagar wherein some masked boys carrying black ISIS flags barged into the historic mosque and raised slogans with one of them climbing the pulpit.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik while condemning the incident that took place after Friday prayers at Jama Masjid Srinagar, said “some masked elements violating all Islamic teaching, values and sanctity of the mosque, and exploiting the ‘Kalima’ and in the name of Islam attempted to desecrate the pulpit (Member-e-Rasool PBUH) of Jama Masjid.”

They said such anti-Islamic acts would not be tolerated at any cost.

JRL said “it is not the first time that such a shameful act of hooliganism has been done. In the past too, some elements, at the behest of certain agencies and handlers, have indulged in rowdyism and hooliganism in and outside the Jama Masjid.”

They said “the motive of these agencies is to weaken and disunite the ongoing people’s movement for the right to self-determination, and these elements are being used to divert this just movement by changing its basic nature and character under the pretence of perusing some global agenda.

“Such an agenda will only strength the narrative of our adversary and justify its oppression against us,” JRL statement said.

“The people of Kashmir have given and are giving supreme sacrifice in terms of life, limb, property and what not for the achievement of their internationally acknowledged fundamental birth right - the right to decide and chose their future in accordance with their wishes and aspirations, and any attempt to weaken or change that discourse, be it under any pretence, will not be tolerated by the people and leadership,” the statement said.

Describing it as most unfortunate that some youth knowingly or unknowingly get involved and used in such acts, the leadership said that on many occasions they addressed this issue “in the larger interest of the movement but now it seems to have been carried too far.”

JRL said that “while aptly representing the political wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir, the pulpit of Jama Masjid has sufficiently represented the voice of the youth and reflected their aspirations, as the youth play a significant role in our ongoing movement and helped to channelize it and give it a direction.

“However, it appears now that under a well-planned design, attempts are being made not only to damage this religious centre but also to change the course of the ongoing movement and create an atmosphere of confusion and anarchy among the masses so that the priceless sacrifices rendered in the movement go waste.”

JRL said that these devious acts can never be in the collective interest of the people. “The people of Kashmir, particularly the youth are continuously nurturing this movement with their blood and it is because of their sacrifices that the ongoing struggle of Kashmiris is recognized at the global level.”

The separatist trio stressed upon people, particularly youth, to be cautious of this “propaganda of vested elements and understand the motive behind such acts that only strengthen our adversary and stay away from it.”

Interestingly, the JRL had paid ‘glowing tributes’ to six ISIS militants who were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir few days back.

It may be recalled here that a group of youngsters, carrying ISIS flags, forcibly entered the historic Jamia Masjid here and created a ruckus, evoking condemnation from the mosque's management committee and the separatists on Friday after congregational prayers.

The video of the incident went viral on the social media on Saturday.

"A group of youngsters, wearing masks, forced their entry into the mosque and rushed to the pulpit where the Mirwaiz delivers the sermon. One of them stood atop the pulpit and shouted slogans. They were carrying ISIS flags," said an official.

The youngsters were subsequently chased away by those present there, he added.

However, none dared to catch hold of them to ascertain their identities though nothing suggested that they were carrying any kind of fire arms.

Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid aghast

Srinagar, Dec 29: Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid on Saturday condemned what it termed as “attempted desecration of Jamia Masjid by some masked youth on Friday”.

“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 “when one among them stood atop the pulpit with his shoes on, screaming slogans and creating ruckus”.

“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 mosque.

“The attempt to desecrate Jamia mosque by this lumpen group of hooligans whose identity is not known as yet as they were wearing 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,” the statement said.

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 mosque 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,” the statement of the Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid said.

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