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Youth wave ISIS flags, desecrate pulpit in Jamia Masjid

Srinagar, Dec 29: A group of masked youth Friday went inside the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar and raised pro-ISIS slogans and flag, while one of them desecrated the masjid’s pulpit by standing atop it with his shoes on.

The incident took place shortly after the Friday prayers ended at the Masjid.

An eye-witness said the masked youth appeared in the Masjid and shouted pro-ISIS slogans while carrying its flag.

The video of the incident has also gone viral showing one of the masked youths standing on the pulpit waving the flag.

In the video, a person tries to stop him as well but the youth pushes him away.“They shouted slogans for few minutes and later disappeared when they were chased by the people,” the eyewitness, said.

“These masked youth were around 10 in number. People chased them but could not catch hold of any one of them,” he added.

On Saturday, Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, the caretaking body of the significant Masjid, condemned the incident. “Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid has strongly condemned the incident that took place in Jamia Masjid on Friday late in the afternoon after the namazis had left,” said a spokesman, in a statement.

He said a group of some masked boys entered the mosque and rushed to the pulpit. “One among them stood atop the pulpit with his shoes on, screaming slogans and creating ruckus,” the spokesman said.

“In the meantime, his associates videotaped it and the video has been put on social media. This clearly indicates that this incident was deliberate and planned,” said the spokesman.

He said the incident has led to shock, outrage and deep resentment among people and deeply hurt their sentiments associated with the Masjid.
“The attempt to desecrate Jamia Masjid by this lumpen group of hooligans whose identity is not known as yet as they hide it behind masks, nor at whose behest they are indulging in these shameful acts is strongly condemnable,” he said.
“It shows utter disregard of this group of miscreants for Islamic institutions, values and Islamic teachings. Such elements not only malign the name of Islam but also abuse it.”
He said the Auqaf has taken strong note of this shameful incident and warns those elements or agencies behind this incident that people and Auqaf will not tolerate or allow anyone to violate the sanctity of the Masjid and the pulpit at any cost.
“Jamia Masjid is the spiritual religious and political centre of people of Kashmir and our collective cultural heritage and any attempt to harm it will be firmly dealt with,” he said.