Press Trust of india

J&K leaders demand probe in alleged incident at Pulwama mosque

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Srinagar:  Several Jammu and Kashmir political leaders, including three former chief ministers, have demanded a probe into reports alleging that some army personnel forced a group of worshippers inside a mosque to raise religious slogans in Pulwama district.

Both the army and the police are tight-lipped on the matter but sources in both the establishments said an internal investigation is on to ascertain the facts about the alleged incident during pre-dawn prayers at Zadoora village in the south Kashmir district on Saturday.

National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted that “reports of security force personnel entering a mosque in Zadoora in Pulwama are deeply distressing. It’s bad enough they entered but then forcing people to chant” religious slogans as reported by the locals there is unacceptable.

“I hope @rajnathsingh ji (defence minister) will issue instructions for these reports to be investigated in a timely & transparent manner,” he said.

PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, in her reaction to the incident through a tweet, said, “Shocked to hear about army troops from 50 RR storming into a mosque at Pulwama & forcing Muslims inside to chant”.

“Such a move when @AmitShah (Home Minister) is here & that too ahead of (Amarnath) yatra is simply an act of provocation,” she said and demanded an immediate probe into the incident.

People’s Conference president and former minister Sajjad Lone said, “The incident at Zadoora Pulwama is highly condemnable. And at the same time very very scary. The drift seems to have gone too far.

“Hoping against hope that the administration will do what it takes to ensure that such incidents never take place again. What a sad state of affairs though,” Lone wrote on his Twitter handle.

Senior CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami demanded that the matter be probed in a transparent and swift manner.

“This is unacceptable and unbecoming of any disciplined army. The incident must be probed in a transparent and swift manner. Those found guilty should be punished,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Azad Party chairman and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also condemned the alleged incident and urged the government to investigate the matter.

“I strongly condemn reports of the alleged Pulwama mosque incident. At this point these are allegations but we must immediately get to the bottom of this matter,” he said in a statement here.

“Such things are neither in our culture, nor allowed under the law,” he said, urging the government to investigate the incident and take strictest action against those responsible.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party president and former minister Altaf Bukhari said he was anguished to learn about the incident.

“…the act is highly condemnable and unacceptable to us all,” he said, urging the Centre to order an inquiry into the incident on top priority.

The officers involved in the act be strictly dealt with as such acts can potentially undo the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

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