Jammu rebuffs communal mischief by Islamabad
M. M Khajooria
Ever since the Pak game plan to ignite communal fires in Jammu region through well planned communal conflict in Kishtwar failed to take off, the conspirators in Islamabad shifted the focus on the Hindu-dominated areas of the region. It was reasoned that to exercise restraint about happenings in remote Kishtwar was one thing but to stomach desecration of sacred places of worship right within the town before your eyes was entirely a different matter. More over, multiple options for fomenting communal riots were available in cities thanks to the presence in abundance of highly volatile extremist elements and the lumpen with huge vested interest in disturbances offering golden opportunity for arson and loot. Sporadic but fairly credible intelligence inputs to the effect were pouring in for quite some time. The vandalising of the ‘Aap Shambu Temple in Roopnagar area of Jammu city on 15th June at 5:00 PM though shocking was therefore not surprising.
I have had the opportunity of viewing the video clipping of the outrage. The manner of his entry, and journey through the long corridor, the body language and the determination with which he walked straight to the target confirm that it was not his first visit to the temple and the target was already visited and identified. The confidence and composure with which the mischief monger conducted himself after reaching the sanctum sanctorum speaks volumes for his focus and self control. First of all he embraced the man present there (said to be the Pujari) perhaps to put him at ease and then proceeded to accomplish the task of vandalising without least heisitation. Another person had also arrived on the scene in the meantime. Surprisingly and shamefully both of them remained mute spectators to the outrage.
The Aap Shambu Temple is located in an isolated place. The place of worship does not conform to traditional temple architect like the Ranbireshwar Temple opposite the State Secretariat. And laid out as it is at quite some distance from the main gate connected with tiled corridor secured by parapets , a first time visitor and that too a non-Hindu would find it impossible to trace it without seeking directions. There is also no possibility of any one straying into the ‘temple’ premises or entering there by mistake.
As the news of the desecration of the temple spread like a wild fire hundreds of outraged devotees collected in front of the Janipur Police Station raising religious slogans and demanding stern action against the culprits. The crowd turned violent brought down a bunker and set fire to police and private vehicles. After reinforcement arrived, the police resorted to tear gassing and Lathi charge. According to press reports, Yasir Alfaaz son of Kher-ud- Din resident of Villagge Seva, Badarwah, District Doda and his brother Tanvir were taken into custody for commission of the desecration. It was also circulated that Aalfaz ran away from the clinic of Dr. Jagdesh Dubey, a Psychiatrist and committed the offence. Dr, Dubey, however denied that the individual was under his treatment. In any case, as evidenced by the video clipping the act of desecration was committed by only one person. The story does not seem to hold water. Mad or not Yasir was sane enough to meticulously and determinedly go through the motions of desecration. In all probability, Yasir Alfaaz may not be his real name. It was very unlikely that Kher ud Din resident of distant Seva village in mountainous Doda district would name his son as such -a name traceable to the Wahabi lexicon.
The Aap Sambhu outrage was fallowed in quick succession by acts of vandalism in Nanak Nagar, Jammu Shiv Temple on 16th June and thereafter in Jhullas Temple in Poonch. Thus was exposed the wider ramification of the conspiracy.
It should be hoped that the authorities resist the temptation of burying the Roop Nagar case on terming the heinous crime as the act of a lunatic. The Board of Doctors appointed by the Principle Medical College should preferably also have on it some non- official specialists to inspire confidence in its findings. In any case, the focus of investigation should more intensely be on the conspiracy angle. Even otherwise the repeated desecration of temples in Jammu and Poonch one after the other effectively blocked this escape hatch.
These three cases are of sensitive nature, have wider ramification and appear to be part of a conspiracy emanating from across the LoC. It would only be appropriate to entrust investigation of these three cases to a Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by a an officer of the rank of Senior Supdt of Police who may also be assisted by officers of the CID, Special Branch and Counter Intelligence. Only in this manner can the conspiracy be exposed, real culprits brought to book and future mischief thwarted. The handling of post public protest and violent situation unfortunately leaves much to be desired. I wish it had been dealt with differently. CM Mehbooba, whose clearance must have been obtained before the ‘bargain’ would be well advised to ponder over its implications and long-term consequences.
The people of Jammu have once again risen to the occasion and categorically and effectively rebuffed the conspiracy hatched in Islamabad to promote communal conflict. Their collective will was tellingly reflected in a Round Table organised by the Civil Society Initiative ‘Jammu for India, in Press Club Jammu on 19th June attended by representatives of over twenty NGOs’ and some eminent citizens. I also had the occasion to participate in the Round Table on invitation. It was heartening to see one participant, after the other vociferously and unequivocally reiterating the resolve to preserve and strengthen communal amity and peace in Jammu. The message was loud and clear.”Under no circumstances will the enemy be allowed to create communal discord in Jammu region.” Jammu was awake. Let Islamabad beware.