Like Her Predecessor, CM Orders Safety Audit Of Shrines

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Srinagar—Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday directed the authorities to conduct a safety audit of shrines in the Valley after a fire broke out in the revered Khankah-e-Moula shrine.

Chairing a high-level meeting to review the safety and protection of all the shrines of the Valley, the chief minister directed all the departments concerned, including the Wakf Board, Fire and Emergency Services, police and Srinagar Municipal Corporation to jointly conduct the safety audit and come up with precautionary measures to protect these places of reverence.

The fire broke out around 1 am in the shrine, built in memory of renowned Sufi saint Mir Syed Ali Hamdani in downtown area of the city, damaging the spire of the building.

Mehbooba directed installation of fire hydrants, smoke alarms, CCTVs and other precautions to prevent occurrence of fire at any shrine in the state, an official sPaKesman said.

The spokesman said the chief minister, who is also the chairperson of the Wakf Board, directed immediate start of the restoration work at the Khanqah-i-Moula shrine and completes it within the shortest period of time.

She asked the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to come up with the drawings within two days so that the restoration work is initiated.

“Money would be no constraint in the completion of the restoration works at the shrine, which she described as civilisational soul for the people of the state,” she said.

Mehbooba said with the joint efforts of the local administration and the people of the area, the fire at the shrine complex was not let to spread.

She expressed appreciation for the local youth who came forward and prevented the fire from spreading while directing the local administration to prepare list of such volunteers so that they would be suitably rewarded.

Mehbooba was informed that regular prayers at the shrine would commence from Thursday after completing the cleaning, drying of the floor and laying of new furnishing at the shrine.

The chief minister also directed the concerned agencies to expedite the restoration works at the Dastageer Sahib shrine at Khanyar so that the devotees are facilitated at the earliest.

The INTACH and the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) offered to carry out the restoration work at the shrine free of cost in view of the importance of its for the people of the state.

The meeting decided that the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, would monitor and supervise the restoration works at the shrine personally to get these completed in time.

Earlier in the day, the chief minister cancelled all engagements at Jammu, to personally assess the damage caused by fire at the shrine.

She went around the shrine complex to assess the quantum of damage and sought a detailed appraisal from the local administration regarding the fire incident.

Interacting with the members of the management committee and devotees, Mehbooba said the shrine symbolises the pluralistic ethos of Kashmir society from which every citizen of the state draws spiritual solace. (PTI)

Mirwaiz Hails ‘Alert’ Residents

Expressing gratitude to the residents living around Khanqah-e-Moula shrine, Kashmir’s chief cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Wednesday, visited the shrine located in the old city which suffered a partial damage in the wake of midnight blaze that left the main minaret completely damaged.

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Speaking on the occasion, Mirwaiz praised the locals especially the youth for their alertness and quick action in dealing with the fire.

“It was because of their timely intervention that the fire was controlled well within time before it could engulf the entire wooden marvel,” he said. “Such incidents are also a signal to look inwards and seek repentance from the Almighty Allah.”

Later Mirwaiz led a special repentance prayer during which emotional scenes were witnessed.

Mirwaiz expressed relief that not much damage was caused to the shrine.

Mirwaiz laid stress on the Wakaf board asking it to take concrete measures in protecting Kashmir’s shrines and other religious places under it and called these spiritual places as priceless assets for the people of Kashmir, who have their emotional and religious attachments with these places since past many centuries.

Congress Anguished At Shrine Damage

The J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) has expressed serious anguish over the damages caused to most revered shrine Khanqah E Moula in downtown Srinagar and described the incident as very unfortunate and disappointing.

The Party mourned the incident and urged upon the Govt to undertake reconstruction work of damaged portion very urgently.

 In a Statement Issued today, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee President G.A. Mir has expressed deep sorrow and anguish over the fire incident.

Mir said demanded the authorities must conduct an enquiry to ascertain the other aspects of the incident.

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