COPS CLUELESS ON INFERNO
‘We Are Looking Into Reports That Fire Started At Three Places Simultaneously’
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, June 26: Police have started investigation into the gutting of the historic shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) popularly known as Dastgeer Sahab (RA), but have no definite leads as of now.
Pertinently, 200-year-old shrine is protected round-the-clock by JK police personnel stationed there.
“As of now, we do not have any definite lead,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Syed Aashiq Hussain Bukhari told Greater Kashmir. “No further information,” he added. According to sources, police have constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Khanyar, Sajad Ahmad Shah, to investigate the cause of fire.
Sources said that SIT has collected samples from the site of incident. “The samples have been sent for forensic tests,” they said.
A SIT official, wishing anonymity, said that initially they are going to question some care-takers of the shrine. “We have been told that power supply to the dome of the shrine is routinely shutdown during the night. We will investigate whether the routine was followed on the particular day. We are hopeful that sustained questioning of the care-takers might provide us some clue if there is any foul play,” the official said.
“Further, we will also look into the activities which took place in and outside the shrine for the last few days,” he said.
“The care-takers have to undergo sustained questioning in this regard,” he said and added that the people involved in construction in the area are also under police radar.
There is an unconfirmed report that fire started at three places simultaneously. “We will also investigate that,” the official said.
According to the eyewitness, the mysterious fire originated from the devotees’ hall, the sanctum sanctorum and the new mosque simultaneously spread quickly to the whole profusely painted wooden buildings.
Sajjada Nisheen of the Dastgeer Sahab Shrine, responsible for the custody of the holy relic, Syed Sajad Geelani on Monday declined to buy electric short-circuit theory as a reason for the fire. “There was no electricity at the time of the incident. I cannot confirm or accept short circuit as the cause of emerging of fire from the dome,” he said, “We want the probe to be independent and transparent. Credible people should conduct the probe,” he had said.
Retired police officer Reyaz Bedar said the cause of fire can be ascertained after analysis of samples. “The opinion of forensic lab will matter,” he said.
“We are removing debris from the site,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Asgar Samoon, told Greater Kashmir. “We want to make place for devotees so that they can offer prayers, that is why the debris is being cleared.”
Gutting of revered Dastgeer Sahab (RA) shrine has plunged the state in general and the Kashmir valley in particular in a state of anguish and grief.
The fire at the shrine occurred just a night after a religious body called, Dawat-e-Islami, organized a congregation at the shrine.
Historic and equally revered shrines of Chrar-e-Sharief (Sheikh-ul-Aalam Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani), Tral (Khanquah-e-Faiz Panah of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani), as also some other shrines have perished in Kashmir in other incidents of fire in the last over two decades of militancy. Even at the most revered Hazratbal, an Islamic Library had gutted in 1992.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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