Kashmiri Shias protest, section of community condemns Soleimani killing
Section of the Shia community in several parts of the country, including Kashmir, have protested against the killing of al-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in a United States airstrike at Baghdad airport in Tehran on Friday.
In Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, soon after Friday prayers, the protesters took to the streets of Budgam and Magam areas in Budgam district.
The protestors raised slogans against the US.
Shia leader, and former legislator from Budgam, Aga Roohullah called the killing a great loss to all those fighting terrorism.
“This killing exposes the colonial designs of America and it will gravely cost the security situation of the world. This act of America is akin to assisting IS,” he said.
Soleimani was instrumental in wiping out IS from Iraq and Syria, Roohullah added.
There is a considerable population of Shia Muslims in several towns of Kashmir, including Budgam, Pattan, Sonawari and Zadibal, where people have been organizing protests against attacks on Iran or its allies either by the US or Israel.
Similarly, in Ladakh’s Kargil region, the Shia population is in a majority and in the past there have been many demonstrations against both US and Israel.
Fearing protests against Soleimani’s killing in these areas, officials have stepped up the vigil.
“The killing is a brazen act of terrorism and violation of sovereignty of a country by a state. Not only around the world but also in Kashmir people are mourning,” said Rashid Maqbool, a media researcher.
In Lucknow, too, Shia Muslims termed the killing a barbaric act even as clerics appealed to hold prayer meetings and offer special prayers for Soleimani.
Maulana Yasoob Abbas, spokesperson All India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board (AISMPLB) said, “I have appealed to the community people to pray for the departed souls and to offer special prayers for peace.”
S Mohammed Haider, a Shia Muslim and a corporate lawyer said the community strongly condemned the attack on the religious leader.
Other people from the community too condemned the act and said they will launch a symbolic protest.
The city has more than 5 lakh Shia Muslims.