Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference has voiced grave concern over the demolition of Masjid in the premises of state legislature at Jammu and warned of horrendous consequences if it was not rebuilt immediately. The party staged a massive demonstration in the Press Enclave here on Monday to protest the sacrilegious act committed under government’s nose. A large number of party workers joined the rally.
Addressing the rally, provincial president, Lateef Ahmad Khan, termed the Masjid demolition as one of the blackest and the most shameful events of the state’s history which has hurt the religious sentiments of millions of its people. He said the incident was an inerasable blot on National Conference-led coalition government’s face which could not be washed off for centuries to come.
“There is a limit to sycophancy and slavery the incumbent state government could have gone to appease the government of India. By dancing to New Delhi’s tunes, it has trifled with the religious values and sensibilities of Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir,” Khan said, adding governments did come and go leaving behind imprints of its performance. “The black chapter the present government has added to its misdeeds has put the state people to shame,” he said.
During his rule, Khan said, the former chief minister and ANC founder, late Ghulam Muhammad Shah, had set up a Majid and Mandir in the assembly complex atJammu to strengthen the glorious traditions of religious tolerance and Hindu-Muslim amity. “By brazenly and mischievously demolishing the Masjid, the coalition government has attempted to harm the traditional harmony among communities,” he said.
The ANC leader said the state was dotted with countless edifices of co-existence among various communities. “Everywhere we see Masjid and Mandir standing alongside each other. “By raising and renovating a Masjid and temple at Bagh-e-Bahu in Jammu, the late Ghulam Muhammad Shah had set a healthy precedent applauded by the people belonging to various faiths even now,” he said.
“Muslim employees and civilians visiting the seat of government in the winter capital used to avail themselves of the availability of Masjid in the Civil Secretariat premises, which would help save lot of time and expedite matters. It was this imperative that had prompted the former chief minister to have a Majid and Mandir within the premises,” the ANC leader said, adding the present government resorted to the shameful act it did only to remain in power and, in the process, hurt the people’s religious sentiments.
Others who spoke on the occasion included provincial secretary and vice-president of Srinagar district, Aftab Ahmad Laway; besides Bashir Ahmad Malik, G M Wathori, Sajjad Ahmad Dar, and Tawseef Ahmad Shah.