SRINAGAR: Angry reactions are coming in to cabinet minister and Peoples Democratic Party leader Imran Reza Ansari’s tweet that “human life is more important than a masjid”, which he said in reference to the prolonged closure of the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. “If we can save precious lives by not letting people go out in volatile times, it is as good as a prayer,” the tweet added.
Several Kashmiris have responded to the tweet.
“By this logic Amaranth Yatra should be banned till situation favourable,” wrote Tariq Ahmad Sofi. “Is this the logic to justify closure of Jamia Masjid for the past one month. Nothing can substitute a prayer”.
Iqbal Mir, referring to the PDP-BJP led government, wrote, “You have brought the state to such a position that people are not safe even in Masjids, by your account…Have some shame.”
Imran Reza Ansari could not be reached for his comments as he is currently travelling to Syria.
“He is not in the country. He is in Syria to visit shrines,” told his public relations officer.
Ansari did not reply to WhatsApp messages as well.
The government has locked down the Jamia Masjid for the past consecutive five Fridays, fearing pro-freedom protests.
Reacting to Ansari’s tweet, a Hurriyat (M) spokesman said that the government’s position on the closure of Jamia Masjid was “misleading and senseless.”
“This remark is clearly an attempt to justify and cover up the oppression let loose on people of Kashmir by a shameless group of people who are solely driven by the lust of power,” the spokesman said. “It is not about saving life but it about saving Kursi (chair)”.
The spokesman said the government was taking political vendetta against Kashmiris by closing Jamia Masjid.
“There was no killing on Fridays in Jamia Masjid even in 2016. Not 3ven this year,” the spokesman said.
“Since the pulpit of Jamia Masjid loudly speaks about the freedom movement and state oppression in Kashmir, the government is unnerved. They are now resorting to lies to obfuscate the political realities of Kashmir.”