A fresh order directing the five zonal superintendents ofpolice to provide the list of mosques in the city and its management committeeshas added to the speculation about some major decision in the offing regardingJammu and Kashmir's special status.
"Please provide details of mosques and theirmanagements falling without your respective jurisdictions as per enclosedproforma to this office immediately for onward submission to higherauthorities," according an order issued by the Srinagar seniorsuperintendent of police to the zonal SPs on Sunday night.
The order, which is being widely circulated on social media,has added to the speculation that the Centre might have plans to do away withArticle 35A, which gives exclusive rights to the state's residents ingovernment jobs and land.
These speculations have dominated the discourse in Kashmirover the past few days after the Centre decided to rush an additional 100companies of central armed paramilitary forces to the valley. The mainstreampolitical parties have vowed to resist any such move to tinker with the specialstatus.
On Saturday, a letter by a Railway Protection Force (RPF)official in Budgam asking employees to stock ration for at least four monthsand take other steps due to "forecast of deteriorating situation" inthe Kashmir Valley "for a long period" created a flutter.
"As per inputs received from different securityagencies and SSP/GRP/SINA (senior superintendent of police, Government RailwayPolice, Srinagar) regarding forecast of deteriorating situation in Kashmirvalley and issue of law and order for a long period, a precautionary securitymeeting was held on July 27," the letter by Sudesh Nugyal, assistantsecurity commissioner, RPF, Budgam, reads.
The official asked the employees to take variousprecautionary measures like storing drinking water for seven days and fillvehicles fully to deal with the issue of law and order for a long period asthere is a "forecast of deteriorating situation" in the valley.
The railways, however, clarified that the communication hadno basis and the official had no authority to issue it.
National Conference leader and former chief minister OmarAbdullah had questioned the motive behind such a missive.
"It's easy to blame valley residents for fear-mongeringbut what are we to make of such official orders which forecast a deteriorationin the law & order environment and even predict disturbances lasting for anextended period of time? Why is the Govt silent?" Abdullah asked.
Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti alsowarned the Centre against revocation of Article 35A of the Constitution, sayingany tinkering with the state's special status or identity would be akin tosetting a powder keg on fire.
"If any hand tries to touch Article 35-A, not only thathand, but that whole body will burn to ashes," Mufti had while saidaddressing her party's foundation day here on Sunday.
Former MLA and Peoples United Front (PUF) leader SheikhAbdul Rasheed said mainstream politics would perish in Kashmir if the Centretinkers with Article 35A.
BJP vice-president and former Madhya Pradesh chief ministerShivraj Singh Chouhan had accused Abdullah and Mufti on Saturday of spreadingrumours about the deployment of additional troops to the valley, saying thedeployment was a normal process and a "routine" exercise.