The 200-year-old shrine of Peer Dastageer Sahib in Srinagar was gutted down in a major blaze. The holy relic (a strand of the saint’s beard) and a manuscript of the Quran are safe. More than 50 people were injured in clashes with the police in Srinagar. The fire, which started in the dome of the shrine that had heavy woodwork, was caused due to a short circuit at about 6.30am on Monday. It soon engulfed the building.
Angry residents held fire officials responsible for delay in reaching the shrine and clashed with them. Some 15 firemen were injured in the clashes and firefight. The Sufi shrine of Hazrat Shaikh Abdula Qadir Jeelani, popularly known as Peer Dastageer Sahib, is revered in the whole of J&K.
Soon after the news of fire spread, people began pelting stones at passing vehicles in the old city, forcing authorities to restrict people’s movement. The restrictions in turn triggered clashes between the youth and the police. The police used teargas shells and lathicharged to disperse the angry mob. Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema, the amalgam of sundry religious organizations has called for a shutdown on Tuesday.