MAGAM (BUDGAM): An argument between two groups turned ugly on Sunday, resulting in injuries to several people and forcing the traders to shut the busiest market of the area.
The incident occurred after two groups of a Shia community (Auqaf Committee and Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian) staked claim on the management and performing of prayers in a market Masjid of Magam area of this central Kashmir district.
A local said the clash between the two groups broke out late Saturday night.
“Initially, we didn’t know the reason (of clash) but later it emerged that it was an old dispute over the Masjid,” he said.
Police sources and eyewitnesses said that government’s handing over the Masjid’s management and affairs to a particular group triggered the clash, resulting in injuries to half a dozen people.
The Masjid was sealed in July 2017 by the government after the dispute between the two groups started.
“Handing over the Masjid’s possession was given to a local Auqaf Committee on June 21 by the lower court,” officials said.
They said the police had formally informed the leaders of the two groups about the development a day before the Masjid was handed over, but one of them did not accept the decision and clashed with other group.
A police official said that they have increased the mosque’s security and are looking for miscreants.
Witnesses said that the incident took place on Saturday afternoon after the members of the group which took possession of the mosque gathered outside it and were attacked by the rival group.
The clashes caused panic among the shoppers and traders in main market, as some of them left their shops open in a state of fear, which were later properly closed down after the situation turned normal for time being.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Budgam Syed Sehrish Asger while talking to Kashmir Reader said that it is the issue within the Shia community.
“After the court decision in favour of one group, the other group clashed with them and during the clashes two persons were injured,” she said.
Asger added that keeping in view the gravity of the situation, the section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed in the area.
She said since one of the communities has brought stay order, the Masjid will remain closed till further orders.