Armymen entered a mosque at Zadoora village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and forced Muslims to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ during pre-dawn prayers on Saturday, alleged the locals.
According to a villagers’ accounts, in the early morning, the call for prayers from the Rajab Sahib mosque was interrupted. The villagers claimed that while the muezzin (who calls for prayer) was halfway through the azaan on the loudspeaker, a group of Armymen entered the mosque and requested him to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’. They themselves also chanted the slogan.
A villager said that some of the soldiers outside allegedly assaulted residents, Kashmir media outlets reported.
“Shocked to hear about army troops… storming a mosque at Pulwama & forcing Muslims inside to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Such a move when Amit Shah is here & that too ahead of yatra is simply an act of provocation,” tweeted former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The PDP leader also sought a probe into the matter.
The Defence spokesperson in Srinagar said to Indian Express that he has asked for details.
Following the incident, senior Army and police officers visited the village and assured that they would look into the matter, the newspaper reported.
“Reports of security force personnel entering a mosque in Zadoora in Pulwama are deeply distressing. It’s bad enough they entered but then forcing people to chant slogans like “Jai Shree Ram” as reported by the locals there, is unacceptable,” said National Conference leader and former CM Omar Abdullah.
“I hope @rajnathsingh ji will issue instructions for these reports to be investigated in a timely & transparent manner,” he added.