SRI NAGAR: A police order seeking details of mosques and their management in Srinagar has added to the tension and anxiety already prevailing in Kashmir after deployment of additional 10,000 paramilitary personnel. Srinagar’s Senior Superintendent of Police has issued a circular directing all SP-level officers in the city to start gathering information on mosques.
“Please provide details of mosques and their managements falling under your jurisdictions to this office immediately for onward submission to higher authorities,” reads the order. The details sought include the name of mosque, its ideological affiliation, name of the local imam (priest) and the management head.
The order has fuelled the speculations that the Centre was planning to withdraw Article 35A, which grants special privileges to the state’s residents. However, Deputy Inspector General of (DIG), central Kashmir V K Birdi, said nothing much should be read about the latest order. Union Minister Jitendra Singh said the deployment of 10,000 security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir was part of the security drill.
The fresh police order came a day after a senior divisional officer of the Railways Protection Force (RPF) directed its staff to stock ration for four months, drinking water for a week, restricted leave due to emergency situation and also told staff not to keep their families in the Valley.
As Kashmir remained on the edge, PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti urged rival National Conference to convene an all-party meeting. “Need of the hour is to come together and forge a united response. We the people of Kashmir need to stand up as one (sic),” she tweeted.
NC vice-president and former CM Omar Abdullah, however, tweeted: “Before calling senior leaders from other parties in J&K to discuss the current situation it’s important to try to understand from the Central Govt about their intentions for the state & also how they see the situation at the moment.” A party spokesperson said NC MPs had given a notice in the Lok Sabha to raise the Kashmir situation in the House and have also sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.