Mosque Loudspeakers Spark Clashes, 14 Hurt

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Kulgam, Nov 01: At least thirteen people were injured, two of them seriously, during clashes between two groups in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district Thursday. Police have detained 14 persons and a late night report said situation was tense but under control.

Clashes broke out between members of two rival sects after one group objected to the use of loudspeakers by the other group in the local mosque of Redwani Payeen, eyewitnesses and police said.
Locals said the mosque was being used for prayers by the members of both Ahle-Hadees and Hanafi sects until recent past.

The trouble has been brewing for a quite sometime over many issues of jurisprudence but situation worsened mainly over the use of loudspeakers as members of Ahle Hadees sect objected to its use.

Later in order to avoid any confrontation and to maintain peace elders from both the sects mutually decided to divide the patch of mosque land and demanded Rs 8 lac compensation for the use of Mosque for prayers.

Locals said Sawtul-awaliya, a Hanfi group paid the amount and took the procession of mosque before two months.

Eyewitnesses said the situation turned ugly after loudspeakers were installed on the mosque today and worshipers began reciting durood over them.

Soon the clashes broke-out as members of both the sects clashed with each other. At least 13 people were injured, police said. The critically injured Abdul Razak Mandoo and Abdul Rashid Ittoo were rushed to

Anantnag Hospital while as others were being treated at Koimoh. Window panes of several houses were also damaged due to stone pelting by the rival groups.

Section 144 has been imposed in the area while as a large contingent of Police and CRPF was also deployed in the area to maintain law and order.

Confirming the incident, DSP HQ’s Kulgam Shabir Ahmad said, “clashes broke out in the area between Hanafi and Ahlihadees groups over dispute on mosque and land that was earlier used by both sects.

Police has registered cases against members of both sects under 191, 192 CRPC and also arrested 14 people from both sects.

Meanwhile Deputy Commissioner and SP Kulgam convened a meeting of the leaders from both the rival sects which however ended after three long hours without reaching to any conclusion. Observer News Service

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