As per recent reports, the Home Ministry has sought the details Mosques in various sectors of Kashmir valley. As per latest media reports, Srinagar’s District Superintendent of Police has asked all zonal Superintendents of Police have been asked to provide details of the mosques falling in their territorial jurisdictions.
As per a Zee News report, the letter requesting details read, “Please provide details of mosques and their management falling within your respective jurisdictions as per enclosed proforma to this office immediately for onward submission to higher authorities.” This has come days after the Centre deployed 10,000 additional troops in the valley in the form of 100 CAPF companies. 50 additional CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) companies, 30 SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal) companies, 10 companies each from ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) and BSF (Border Security Force) have been deployed in the valley.
This letter has reportedly been marked as urgent and the zones were required to furnish the required details by 10 am on 29 July. The required information includes district, details of jurisdiction, name of the mosque and its location, name of the Maulvi, address and name of the chairman. Besides these details, the concerned officers have also been asked to furnish information about the ideological affliction of the mosque committee. As per India Today, these orders were supposed to be confidential but somehow found their way to social media but there is no official word on the orders as of now. The letter asking for this information was sent to SP City of South Zone, Hazratbal Zone, North Zone, East Zone and West Zone Srinagar.
Republic World has claimed that as per sources, certain mosques in the Valley are being used to instigate people into violent activities and they are being used as recruiting grounds for terrorists. Therefore, Home Ministry is carrying out an audit of the mosques across the Kashmir valley, in order to curb radicalisation.
It must be noted that mosques in the valley have been seen as centres of radicalisation in the past as well. As per a DNA report published in January this year, describing the events of ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, massive crowds had gathered in mosques across the valley at that time from where they shouted anti-India and anti-Pandit slogans. This then triggered what was probably the biggest mass lynching incident in India. Over the next few months, hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits were tortured, lynched and mercilessly raped.
A 2010 Hindustan Times report on how to deal with radicalisation in the valley, “The Friday prayers at the mosques are being used to fuel extremism and the young impressionable minds at the madrassas are also being surreptitiously subjected to jihadist ideology on a daily basis. Pakistan has also leveraged the existing communal fault lines in other parts of our country to create insecurities that bolster secessionist tendencies and an inclination for a new political order.” It had also stated, “Contemporary educational infrastructure with dedicated security cover should be created and the religious preachers at the mosques should not be allowed to spew venom and spread jihadist ideology.”
It has been nine years since this report was published by the Hindustan Times. The valley and its people have been fighting terrorism and the radicalisation for several decades but there was no visible step in this direction. However, with the present order the government might just be moving in that direction.