Srinagar, Oct 9: To safeguard religious places in J&K, the State Government is 'actively considering' installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) at the entry and exit points of various shrines across the state.
In response to a relevant query by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party legislator Peer Afaq Ahmad, the Minister for Revenue has mentioned that "Government has issued necessary orders to the Divisional/ District administration to ensure safety, security and sanctity of all Ziyarats and religious places across the state."
"The possibility of installing CCTVs at the entrance and other vital places within the premises of each Ziyarat is under active consideration of the Government," reads the reply.
It adds: "The watch and ward staff has been asked to keep strict vigil and inform the police in case any suspicious movement is noticed in and around the shrines."
The reply states that the authorities have been directed vide a circular (Rev/H&A/38/2012 Dated 20.07.2012) to take necessary measures like installation of fire safety equipment to ensure that nothing untoward happens in any religious shrine/ziyarat in the state.
The steps, according to official sources, are being taken in the wake of gutting of centuries old revered shrine of Dastgeer Sahab (RA) at Khanyar a few months back. The shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) popularly known as Gaus-ul-Azam Dastgeer Sahab (RA) was gutted in a mysterious fire incident on July 25 this year, plunging Valleyites into anguish and grief.
While people felt relieved after it was reported that the holy relics in the shrine were safely retrieved, the blaze destroyed the antique chandeliers and invaluable wood carving panels of the shrine besides the entire old wooden structure that housed the mausoleum.