Shells Skip This Sufi Shrine On Kashmir LoC


Jammu: Time and again shells rain on the forward villages and hamlets along Line of Control in Poonch district but the bullets and shells fired from across LOC never land close to one of the revered shrines on this side of the fence.

The bullets and shells hit and damage the villages but never land close to Dargah of Baba Maira Bakhsh situated close to the LoC in village Guntriyan of tehsil Haveli in district Poonch.

The shrine has its importance and the people not only from Poonch and this side of the border but also from across LOC have faith in this revered Sufi shrine.

The shrine was constructed after Baba Maira Bakhsh left for heavinly abode in 1986.

The saint, around 50 years back migrated from Pakistan and settled at village Guntriyan and over a period of time, locals started visiting him and listen to his sermons.

‘There is a Pakistani post just opposite to Dargah but despite heavy firing during ceasefire violations, the shrine never received a single bullet,’’ a villager said.

He said that shells, bullets and even mortars land in the villages close to the shrine but never hit the structure and there was no damage or loss of life reported so far in villages surrounding shrine due to cross border firing.

‘We feel secure due to our proximity to the revered shrine,’’ another villager added.

He said that members of the divided families from Pakistan visiting Poonch in a weekly Poonch-Rawlakote ‘peace Bus’ to meet their relatives this side, also make it a point to visit  the Shrine and pay their obeisance.

The shrine is being looked after by one Mohammad Amin, who makes all arrangements for the visitors at the holy place.

“ In 1947 when partition happened, Baba Maira Bakhsh migrated to Poonch where he was detained and sent back,” said a villager adding that he again returned back but was again repatriated.

Then in 1954, saint returned to Poonch following which, locals, police and administration relented and allowed him to settle.

”Finally after 1965 India-Pakistan war, Maira Bakhsh settled in the village Guntriyan where he used to perform prayers and lived a simple life,” a villager recollected.

“The shrine is of great importance and every year congregation is organised on the occasion of Urs,” according to, Aijaz Jan, MLA Poonch.

He said that community kitchen is set up at the shrine while free meals are served to the devotees visiting there. UNI

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