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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sectarian tension erupts in Pattan

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Jan 4: Mysterious disappearance of two hoardings of the Shia spiritual leader late Ayatollah Khomeini and a Kashmiri militant, have resulted in eruption of sectarian tension in a cluster of about a dozen villages in Pattan area of Baramulla district.

Informed sources told Early Times that residents of the predominantly Shia populated Hagarpora village had installed a hoarding of the godfather of the Iranian revolution Ayatollah Khomeini at a marketplace over 20 years ago. Later, in early 1990s, residents of some Mohallas of Hagarpora and Kongamdara installed a hoarding of a local militant, namely Nazir Ahmed, at the same place. Both disappeared by night in mysterious circumstances immediately after the 10th Moharram (Ashoora).

With the Sunni Muslims insisting on naming the square as “Shaheed Nazir Ahmed Chowk” after the militant killed over a decade ago and the Shia Muslims calling it “Imam Khomeini Chowk” after their spiritual leader who passed away 20 years ago, confrontation snowballed into a major clash this evening.

Police officials said that over two thousand residents of Zangam, Hanjivera and Sherabad gathered and marched towards Nauleri village. On the other hand, resident of Nauleri and adjoining Shia villages also gathered as the groups in confrontation used public address system of their mosques to call their respective supporters.

Senior Police officials rushed to the spot and they were busy in dousing the flames of sectarian tension that has erupted in Pattan area in days of a similar situation at the one-odd Shia population village of Gund-e-Sayyidaan, close to LoC in Tangdar sector of Kupwara district. Even as some members of a sect have fled due to “insecurity”, Kupwara Police have swung into action and arrested few of the mischief mongers.

Reports from Tangdar said that Attiq-ur-Rehman, brother of the National Conference (NC) MLA from Karnah, was in the forefront of creating a situation of the confrontation between members of two sects and Police had not taken any action against him. After allegations of desecration to the holy scripture, members of a sect have allegedly set on fire a place of worship of the other sect.


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