The police on Friday registered a case of arson against unknown person(s) who reportedly tried to set ablaze a revered shrine in south Kashmir's Anantnag district. This year's sixth such incident.
Eyewitnesses told Hindustan Times that a woman devotee, going for her morning prayers, first spotted the fire at the shrine of Ziyarat Hyder Rishi, situated in the outskirts of Dabrana village, six km from Anantnag town.
After she raised the alarm, people assembled near the shrine. Later, fire tenders reached the spot and doused the flames emanating from the carpeted floor of the shrine. The shrine houses relics of saint Hazrat Baba Reshi.
"Some miscreant or miscreants attempted arson at the shrine in the morning and its matting was damaged in the fire. The shrine is safe," superintendent of police RK Jalla said.
The police have lodged an FIR and started an investigation into the matter.
The leading priest of south Kashmir, Qazi Yasir, described the attack as "an attempt to divide Muslims of the state". Senior district administration also reached the spot to assess the situation.
Looking at the past
Six mosques and shrines have caught fire this year. The gutting of the 249-year-old shrine of saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in Srinagar had even triggered massive street protests. Here are some recent incidents:
A mysterious fire engulfed the 249-year-old shrine of saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in Srinagar. The shrine is revered by all communities.
A shrine, belonging to Shia sect, was damaged in a mysterious fire incident in north Kashmir's Mirgund area, Baramulla district.
A centuries old sufi shrine was damaged in a mysterious fire at Ratsuna village in central Kashmir's Budgam district.
A sufi shrine was attacked by miscreants in south Kashmir's Tral area.
A mosque, belonging to Hanifiya sect, was damaged in a mysterious fire in central Kashmir's Budgam district.