The recent storming of two mosques in south Kashmir’s Pulwama by the Indian Army’s 50 RR is a shocking incident in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir and must be probed by the LG administration as a priority.
A major has also been accused who allegedly led the men in uniform to storm two mosques in the wee hours of Saturday and forcing Kashmiri Muslim worshippers to chant “Jai Shri Ram,” (hail lord ram), a Hindutva slogan used by India’s right-wing ideologues.
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was the first to flag the issue and she publicly named the troops of 50 Rashtriya Rifles.
She called the incident an act of provocation at a time when Home Minister Amit Shah was in Kashmir to review security arrangements for the Hindu Holy Pilgrimage of Amarnath, beginning next month.
Later, another former CM Omar Abdullah raised similar concerns on Twitter and called the event unacceptable while seeking timely investigation, mentioning the defence minister, Raj Nath Singh.
As per media reports, a muezzin who entered the mosque for pre-dawn prayers was stopped midway and forces to chant the hindutva slogan on the speaker.
Similarly, the muezzin of the Jamia Mosque was dragged and forced to chant the slogan along with other worshippers. Locals were also warned against sacrificing animals in the village on the coming Eid ul Azha, holiest Islamic festival.
Though, reports said the army officials have apologized and cited new entrants who were learning how to call people during night; this incident has raised serious questions about the army's protocol and its respect for religious places.
The LG government must take immediate action and verify the credentials of the army personnel involved in this incident.