Claims Lashkar-e-Toiba burnt down Dastgeer Sahib shrine
SRINAGAR: A top police officer and former intelligence chief in J&K, S M Sahai, has stressed on re-establishing of Sufi seminaries instead of “madrassas” to counter what he called as “radicalisation”.
For this, Sahai proposed introduction of Sufism department in universities of Kashmir.
Sahai was last posted as Additional Director General of Police (intelligence) in J&K before he was sent on deputation to the union home ministry in October 2016.
He claimed Lashkar-e-Toiba was behind burning of shrines including Dastgeer Sahib Shrine in Khanyar.
“The militant groups in Kashmir were introduced to start holy war. And orthodox Muslim groups roll on the back of these militant outfits to promote radicalisation for the holy war and sacred values. In 2011, the shrines were burnt down by Lashkar-e-Toiba mainly Khanyar shrine. People specially trained from Pakistan were assigned burning of shrines. We got the group in Budgam and with it the issue was stopped,” he added.
Speaking at 19th Asian Security Conference in New Delhi on Combating Terrorism: Evolving an Asian Response organised by Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis gave a presentation titled “Understanding Sufism to influence extremism in Kashmir’. Sahai showed video of iconic Hizb commander Burhan Wani, whose killing triggered anti-India uprising last year.
He questioned, “What is actually happening to the youth of Kashmir? He answered himself that the narrative in Kashmir is changing from politics to religion- “Azadi to Khilafat”.
Subsequently, he played video of Hizb commander Zakir Bhat alias Musa with subtitle showing “Boy next door to a radicalised militant”.
“There has been ideological shift in the youth of Kashmir with the introduction of the Madrassas. Youth have new role models to follow, what makes youth to be ready to take bullets when they know there is an (military) operation going on,” he said.
Sahai quoted scriptures, “And when the sacred months has passed, then kill the polytheist wherever you find them and capture them and sit in and wait for them at every place of ambush.” Another verse he quoted, “whosoever kills an innocent he has killed whole humanity and whosoever saves an innocent has saved whole humanity”.
“But unfortunately the youth focus on the first Hadith which is used to justify the jihad and no one focuses on the second one,” he said.
Sahai described religion in three parts as Islam, Emaan and Ehsaan claiming that “Ehsaan” is the beauty of Islam which believes Allah is watching when one can’t see him.
“It is where Sufism comes in picture, Ehsaan is the beauty of Sufism, If you get seminaries back then you can think of promoting Sufism in the Valley,” he said.
Sahai appealed political parties to indulge youth in the agenda at the grassroots level when they are dealing with the religious question.
While giving examples of pass percentage of government schools in Kashmir, Sahai stated that Kashmiri youth have the same aspirations as other people. “They also want what is wanted by others. They need to be occupied beyond sports activities,” he added.
“The youth of Kashmir are radicalized with the youth and children need to kept occupied beyond conventional education and sports activities alone. One strange thing about Kashmir is that every Kashmiri youth thinks that he is the kind of the guy who should be on screen. They are on social media, into advertising, and we have many success stories,” he said.