Mosque Killing: NC Leader, 19 Others Face Murder Trial

SRINAGAR: A National Conference sarpanch and 19 others have been ordered to be put on trial for murder for the killing of a young Jama’at-e-Islami supporter in group clashes in a Gandarbal mosque in August this year.

The order was issued by the principal and district sessions judge, Syed Tauqueer Ahmad, on Monday, bringing all accused under a murder case.

The police challan in the incident had booked only five of the twenty accused for murder, the rest having been cited on lesser charges.

The case had been filed after 20-year-old Shabbir Ahmad Bhat – a college student and a supporter of the Jama’at-e-Islami was fatally wounded when opposing groups clashed inside a mosque in Sindhbal – some six km from Gandarbal town – over the use of loudspeakers.

The Jama’at-e-Islami had strongly refuted the group clash version of the killing – which erupted amid a simmering feud on mosque loudspeakers – and said that it was a pre-meditated attack when worshippers were immersed in noon prayers on August 6 during the fasting month of Ramazan.

It had named NC sarpanch Muhammad Subhan Wani as having led the attacking mob.

The killing had sparked off high tension and allegations of reprisal attacks on houses in Sindhbal and several adjoining areas already badly divided on the issue of using loudspeakers in post-prayer recitations. 

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