Separatists slam unfurling of IS flag

first_imgCondemning the unfurling of the Islamic State (IS) flag at the historic Jamia Masjid here on Friday by a youngster, the Kashmiri separatist leaders said “such anti-Islamic acts would not be tolerated at any cost”.“Some masked elements have violated all Islamic teaching, values, sanctity of the mosque and attempted to desecrate the pulpit of Jamia Masjid,” said a joint statement of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.A video that went viral on the social media in Kashmir on Saturday showed a masked youth scaling the pulpit inside the mosque and unfurling an IS flag. Others are seen raising slogans.‘Bid to dent movement’The pulpit is traditionally used by the Mirwaiz, the head priest of the Valley, for Friday sermons. “In the past too, some elements at the behest of certain agencies and handlers have indulged in rowdyism and hooliganism inside and outside the Jamia Masjid. The motive is to weaken the ongoing people’s movement for the right to self-determination,” said the separatist leaders.Terming the bid “unfortunate”, the separatists claimed it was a well-planned design to damage this religious centre. “Also, it is aimed at changing the course of the ongoing movement and create an atmosphere of confusion and anarchy,” they added.The separatists asked the youth in the Valley “to be cautious of this propaganda of vested elements and understand the motive behind such acts”.A spokesman of the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, which is a caretaker body of the 14th century mosque, said the incident took place in Jamia Masjid on Friday late in the afternoon after the devotees had left. “A group of 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,” said the spokesman.In the meantime, his associates videotaped it and the video has been put on the social media. “It has sent shock waves and deep resentment among people,” said the spokesman.He said the Auqaf would not 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 the people of Kashmir and representative of our collective cultural heritage and any attempt to harm it will be dealt with firmly,” the spokesman added. In the past few years, Islamic State and Al-Qaeda affiliated group Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, have succeeded in recruiting a few youth in Kashmir. However, the police said the ranks of both the organisation have shrunk to single digits. Six militants of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind were killed recently in Pulwama’s Awantipora, including the deputy of Zakir Musa, who heads the group.last_img