The matter of forcibly chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on a troop of the Indian Army in the mosque of Jadora village of Pulwama district of South Kashmir is in the headlines.
Three former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti, have strongly condemned the matter and demanded an inquiry.
However, no official statement has come from the Indian Army and the local police administration on this matter.
On Monday, at around 12.30 pm, three police vehicles were parked on the main road of Jadora village in the Pulwama district of South Kashmir.
The people of the village were present, along with the police officers. There was a tense situation.
When we looked towards the road going inside the village near the police car, we saw many women and some men there.
Two officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Police were also present among the women trying to appease the crowd.
When the crowd approached, a woman said, “Tomorrow, they will tell us that you people will now apply tika on your forehead. We will not tolerate this.” Having said this, the woman went ahead.
an atmosphere of fear and tension
After this incident, there is an atmosphere of fear and tension.
Mohammad Altaf Bhatt, who lives in Jadora village, has claimed in a conversation that he is an eyewitness to the entire incident.
He claims, “It was last Friday (June 16) midnight. My sister-in-law told me that the army had taken away Javed. Javed is my younger brother. He had come from. The army kept him with them for about two hours. We were hearing Javed’s screams. The sounds were such that he was being beaten.
“When we tried to go to our brother, the army did not allow us to come there. The army had closed our doors. Meanwhile, the Moazzin of our mosque was giving azaan in the mosque. When he came out of the mosque after finishing the azaan, the army men caught him outside the mosque and asked him to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.
When he refused, he slapped him too. After that, he said “Jai Shri Ram” two or three times. Then he was told to say this word on the mike of the mosque. When he reached near the mosque gate, from there escaped.”
Recurrence after a week
Mohammad Altaf says that the same thing happened again a week after this incident in his village.
He claims, “It was two days ago. It was also a Friday night. I was sleeping. During this time, a boy called me to say that some people were looking for him. When I came out, 50 army men Rashtriya Rifles (RR) men were standing.”
“Then they found my brother Javed. I took Javed out and handed him over to the army. During this time, another boy from the village also came who was called by the army. I brought them naked. The camp’s Major from which the army had come was sitting in the vehicle. When I wanted to go near the vehicle, I was stopped.”
“During this time, they were beaten up. By the time it was 3:30 in the night. Another boy from the village, Arif, lives near the mosque. He went to the mosque to recite the azaan. He was not aware that the army was in the village. He started giving Azaan in the Masjid. There was complete silence when he was about to finish the Azaan, and the Azaan was not even completed.”
Army personnel and slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram.’
“In the meantime, the army man entered the mosque and asked Arif to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Perhaps he did not listen and switched off the mike. The army again opened the mike and started reading “Jai Shri Ram”. Said. We were hearing this with our ears. The army man was telling him to read “Jai Shri Ram” in the same way as you give Azaan.”
He says, “The mosque where slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” were raised, there is another mosque about four hundred meters away from that mosque. “Jai Shri Ram” slogans” were raised five to seven times there too. I got these slogans raised by a Masterji of our village. This mosque is the Jama Masjid of the town.”
What are the villagers afraid of?
Altaf says that, meanwhile, my sister called me to say that Javed has been released and he has been beaten up.
Altaf said, ‘When I reached home, Javed pleaded with folded hands not to tell anyone about this incident.’
We tried to talk to Javed Ahmed, but he was not ready.
Another village youth said that a person from the village had taught us morning prayers that day. The army had already asked him to raise “Jai Shri Ram” slogans in the mosque.
He said that we were the only five people in the mosque that day and when the prayer was over, that person shouted “Jai Shri Ram” on the mike.
He said we did not leave the mosque for long due to fear.
no response from the army
Mohammad Altaf said that some officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Police had come here on Monday, and they have assured us that such incidents will not happen in the village in the future.
On Monday, a police officer in Jadora village told off the record that the matter was resolved.
Mohammad Altaf also said that the commandant of the army called him to the camp and apologized for the incident.
He also said the commandant told him the accused Major had been removed from his duty.
In Srinagar, army spokesman Imran Mosvi told BBC News India that he had no official information about the incident or the removal of the Major.
At the same time, in this case, DGP Dilbag Singh and ADGP Vijay Kumar of the Jammu and Kashmir Police could not be contacted even after repeated efforts.
Three former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti, have strongly condemned the incident and demanded a strict inquiry into the matter. Other political parties of Kashmir have also expressed strong regret over this incident.