Rabiya Bashir

Srinagar, Apr 09: Six years after the government’s direction, the Jammu and Kashmir Wakf Board is yet to install CCTV cameras in all the shrines in Kashmir.

After a massive fire destroyed the shrine of Dastageer Sahib (RA) at Khanyar in 2012, the Wakf Board identified major shrines and mosques where CCTV cameras needed to be installed.

These included the shrines of Makhdoom Sahib (RA), Assar-i-Sharief Hazratbal, Shehri Kailashpora, Syed Yaqoob Sahib (RA), and Khankah-e-Moulla, and Drugjan Mosque,

However, so far only one among the identified shrines—that of Hazrat Syed Hassan Mantaqi’s Sahib (RA) at Awantipora—has got the CCTV cameras.

An official of the Wakf Board said they have started the process of installing CCTV cameras in the major shrines in the city.

“We have, so far, installed CCTV cameras in and around the major shrines in the valley. We would soon install CCTV cameras in all the other shrines. We recently installed a CCTV camera in Hazrat Mantaki Sahib (RA) shrine,” he said.

Dargah Hazratbal, he said, has an old CCTV camera system that was installed by the police.

“We have not installed the new cameras yet,” he said.

Following the incident in the Khanyar shrine, multiple mishaps of similar nature but low intensity were reported at several shrines and mosques across the valley.

The latest incident was that of fire, caused by lightening, damaging the minaret of the 620-year-old-old Khanqah Maula shrine in old Srinagar.

Last year, the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, ordered a safety audit of the shrines in the valley in order to put in place the preventive means.

She also called for installation of fire hydrants, smoke alarms, CCTV cameras and more such measures for preventing the shrine in the state from fire.

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