II: Chapter 10
AND DESECRATION OF TEMPLES
the transformation of political power in Kashmir 1339 A.D. the temples
and cultural symbols of Hindu style came under severe Muslim onslaught.
The Muslim rulers steeped in Islamic orientation with commitments to the
forcible expansion of Islam desecrated, plundered and despoiled the temples
and shrines manifesting the character of Hindu faith and thought. As amply
supported by historical evidences Kashmir with its protracted history dating
back to antiquity has been a Buddhist, Vaishnavite and Shaivite seat and
as such has witnessed amazing levels of cultural growth and flowering with
their visible imprint on viharas, caityas and temples dotting every inch
of Kashmir soil. As has been the common practice with Muslims a concerted
campaign of bigotry was generated with the state apparatus in the lead
role to defile and destroy temples and other cultural expressions of Hindus
fascistically declaring them as un-Islamic thereby sealing any intellectual
effort to probe their aesthetics and cultural value. The destructive campaign
as a result of religious Repossessions and paranoia has continued with
no relent with a priori objective of dismantling and annihilating a cultural
ethos suffused with the ingredients of tolerance, assimilation and wider
vision of understanding. With narrow perspectives in view and hate syndrome
as a motivating factor no efforts have been spared to scatter the bacilli
of iconoclasm to establish Muslim cultural domination coupled with obscurantism
giving rise to an ethos antithetical to the ideals of harmony, coexistence
It will be
in the fitness of things to put that the total history of Muslims in Kashmir
spans over a period of six hundred years and it has been a period of crusade
chasing the twin objectives of conversion and inconoclasm which are two
faces of the same operation. Jonraj as an historian of eminence was a witness
to the forcible conversion of the Hindus of Kashmir and the desecration
and demolition of the Hindu temples and cultural signs and symbols akin
to the faith. The iconoclastic character of Islam was well within the range
of his observation and experience when he with the bold flourish of his
pen dilated on the desecration and destruction of Hindu temples wrought
by Muslims who in obedience to their religious promptings flashed the naked
weapon of force to expand the Islamic base with a view to earning the promised
religious compensation. Jehad or holy war has been the instrument to desecrate
and level massive stone structures of temples and to convert the Hindus
to the faith of Islam. The Sayyids, the Chaks, the Mughals and the Afghans
harnessed and pressed into service their political power and authority
to realise the conversion and with a view to achieving the objective it
became imperative to decimate and obliterate the colossal religious and
cultural symbols of Hindus especially their temples and shrines.
The first bacilli
of iconoclasm were sown the day when the Muslim rulers under obligation
to a fiat issued by a proselytizer masquerading as a Sufi resorted to the
tyrannical measure of stopping the Hindus from fresh constructions of temples
and shrines for idol-worship and disallowing them to execute repairs to
the existing ones lying in a state of collapse and ruin.50 Startling records
were set in the destruction of temples and other symbols of Hindu culture.
The materials from the destructed temples were looted and wantonly utilised
to build mosques and hospices and in most of the cases plinths were not
ravaged but kept intact and mosques built and imposed on the temple sites.
The Muslim iconoclasm did not spare the sculptural treasures amazingly
creative and superb in conception and execution and reflective of an intolerant
culture model it Divas pursued with religious zeal to hasten Islamisation
with a view to reducing Kashmir to a Muslim ghetto.
throughout the world will feel shocked to learn that gun power as a hardware
of war was harnessed by Muslims to destruct and despoil the temples which
religion and art wise are the churches of the Hindus. When destruction
could not be achieved through the blasting material, the Jungles in the
proximity of the temples were felled to use them as fuel for setting the
gigantic structures ablaze. The tremendous heat generated through the burning
of logs of wood split the chiselled stones and set them violently asunder
with the result the massive structures fell and crumbled in a pile of ruins.
The brutality was not inflicted on one temple but was heaped without an
exception on the giant temples studding the gem of the valley. The ruins
of Martand, Avantipur, Tapar, Parihaspur, et al are mute witnesses to the
depredations and ravages wrought by Muslims.
iconoclasts, ignorant, puerile and pervert, harboured no sense of guilt
when they destroyed the sparkling specimens of Kashmirian architecture
signalling a new apogee through a blend of indigenous style with the Greek
and Roman styles. The lofty pyramidal roofs were dismantled. The trefoiled
doorways covered by pyramidal pediments were broken with hammers. Colonnades
fashioned after the Greek model were removed. The said-materials were either
sadistically destroyed or used in mosques where their artistic loftiness
and grandeur were lost. The losses thus rendered to the mosaic of world
culture were colossal and incredible.
of Martand built on a plateau amidst cnthralling natural ambience is a
unique marvel in stone symbolising through its distinctive style a celebrated
classical order comparable to the architectural orders that have flowered
as mile-stones during the whole course of evolution. Shocking as it is
the same stone temple, solid and enduring, was put to the orgy of devastation
through gun power and when sufficient quantities of it were not readily
available, its foundations were dug deep and chiselled and skilfully carved
stones removed filling the gaping wounds with logs of wood and putting
them afire. Prior to the destructive process huge hammers were cruelly
used for one full year to destroy and vandalise its wealth of masterly
sculptural works of immense artistic merit and value. The same destruction
was wrought Oil the massive stone temple at Bijbehara which was famed as
the city of temples. It was pillaged and destroyed and its well carved
- out stones with engraved figurines of gods and goddesses of Hindu pantheon
were utilised for the construction of a hospice which is not a patch on
the original temple. The temples were so massive in size and dimension
that it was difficult to believe that they could be the handiwork of human
Walter Lawrence, "While the old Hindu buildings defy time and weather,
the Musahnan shrines and mosques crumble away. Other foreign travellers
have recorded that Hindu temples were built to endure for all time. Their
solidity of construction and their gigantic size strike one with wonder
that puny men could have built them. They often gazed upon them with amazement
and lamented bigoted Muslim fanatics who laid them to ruins with tremendous
at Tapar (Pratap-pur) that were built by the queen of a Hindu ruler,
were amazing marvels of Hindu architecture. The ruthless Muslims destroyed
them with vengefulness and are novel in a dilapidated condition. What is
astonishing that a Muslim ruler, Zain-ul-Abidin (1420-70) A.D. who withdrew
the despicable levies on Pandits and re-settled them in Kashmir after they
were forcibly expelled from Kashmir thus earning kudos for his exemplary
tolerance, utilised the huge temple stones and Hindu idols to build a bund
from Naidkhai to Sopore. If figurative meaning of his visit to Sharda,
a centre of Hindu pilgrimage now in Pakistan, is drawn from what Jonraj
writes about it, it can be averred that he was responsible for the desecration,
breakage and destruction of the wooden idol of ancient origins at the highly
revered place of worship.
emperors who were enamoured of the beauty of Kashmir valley have been extolled
for their tolerant credentials, but on the basis of available authentic
evidences it can be said that they were the same fanatic in matters of
dismantling and devastating the religious places of Hindus. It is surprising
to learn that Jehangir in his religious fury dismantled the flight of steps
linking the Temple of Shankaracharya to the river Jehlum near the Temple
of goddess Tripursundary. Nurjohan as his celebrated queen utilised the
same chiselled and sculptured stones to erect a massive mosque known as
Pathar Masjid. The Muslims never used the mosque for prayers not for the
fact that it was built with looted materials from a temple but because
it was constructed at the instance of a woman who was a Shia-Muslim by
faith and creed. The same mosque was declared as property of the state
by the Sikh commander, Phula Singh, on the genuine plea that it was built
with the materials dismantled and looted from a temple. The Muslims raised
a hue and cry as the mosque continued to be locked in Dogra times and it
was under a British conspiracy that the mosque was returned to the Muslims
who trumpeted its occupation by the state as a great symbol of tyranny.
Temple built by a Hindu ruler was forcibly occupied and turned into a Muslim
shrine by the installation of a grave (to sanctify the grab) in the sanctum
sanctorum of the temple. The Kashmiri Pandits not taking the brutality
lying down locked horms with the Muslim rebids and recovered its possession
from the unlawful occupants. But Muslims mobilised their ranks, screamed
Jehad to grab it away from the Pandits and installed a new grave to maintain
and fortify the forcible occupation. The famous temple at Skand Bhawan
at the head of a spring was desecrated and the spring of oozing waters
blocked by hurling of huge stones and boulders and re-christened as the
shrine of Pir Mohammad Basur. The Dedamar Temple was also levellcd and
demolished and was forcibly converted into the Tomb of Malik Sahib. The
temples at Amrita Bhawan were laid waste and the site was occupied and
converted into shrines and burial grounds.
It was Praversena
II, the founder of the city of Srinagar, who had constructed a country
residence for a reputed Hindu saint on the north-eastern corner of the
legal Lake Bernier who accompanied Aurangzeb in his visit to Kashmir has
exposed the iconoclastic activities of Shah Jehan, a famous Mughal emperor.
In his travelogue Bernier records that the doors and pillars carved out
of stone that were used in the Shalimar garden built on the same area of
villa were looted from some temples which were demolished by Shan Jehan.
And Bernier comments that their artistic grandeur and value was beyond
Temple of Shiva Pravareshwar was de,nolished and with its looted materials
was built the shrine of Baha-ud-Din Sahib.60 The grave-yard that surrounds
the shrine is a repository of many ancient remains that have been used
in walls and tombs. The ruins of a gate-way lying at one corner of the
grave-yard are still existing and the stone blocks of which the gate-way
is built are of exceptional dimensions. As the Muslims have no strong tradition
in erecting shrines with stone blocks, it is authenticity held that they
are the materials of Shiva Pravareshwar Temple.
The Jamia Mosque
situated in the vicinity of the shrine of Baha-ud-Din is surrounded by
numerous temple stones and massive pillars lending strong credence to the
belief that it was built on the site of a Vishnu temple which was worshipped
and adored by Kashmiri Pandits. It has been the site of a Buddhist Vihara
as well which must have stood close by it. The Buddhists from the region
of Ladakh still bow at the site with a deep sense of veneration.
of Vishnu Ranaswamin which as per the noted historian Kalhana was erected
by Ranaditya was subjected to the Muslim fury of desecration and destruction
and ultimately suffered the orgy of its conversion into the shrine of Pir
Haji Mohammad. The Muslim shrines situated at Zakura (Juskapur) are built
out of the materials from temples that were destructed. Again the shrine
of Farrukzad Sahib is constructed at the site where there stood a massive
temple dedicated to Amareshwar, and contains the remains of the destructed
shards of temple. There were temples built on an inlet of Anchar Lake which
were demolished and their looted materials utilised in the construction
of tombs and shrines. The shrine of Khawaja Khizar is built with the ruins
looted from a temple.
of Vishnu-Padamaswamin of considerable fame at Pampore was plundered and
levelled and its delicately chiselled columns and ornamented slabs were
utilised in the erection of the shrine of Mir Mohammad Hamadani and other
Muslim shrines standing in the same locality.
site of Parihaspur on the plateau of Paraspur was vandalised and destroyed
by the Muslim vandals. As is historically established the site was littered
over with Hindu temples and Buddhist Viharas and caityas. The places of
worship consecrated to gods and goddesses of Hindu and Buddhist religions
were built by the great conqueror Lalitaditya who is also credited with
the completion of the Martand Temple of considerable repute. The same saga
of destruction is connected with the temples and shrines dotting the Hariparbat
Hillock which were demolished grabbed and converted into shrines and mosques.
grab and destruction as the rallying point of Muslim Jehad failed to abate
in its tidal wave even under the rule of the Dogras who professed Hhldu
faith and belief. The Islamic forces having a distinct narrow and communal
stream continued their onslaught on temples and Hindu-style cultural symbols.
Brute force was let loose to forcibly occupy the temple at Sahyar in the
capital city of Srinagar. Blatant attempts were made to grab the Bhairav
Nath Temple at Chattabal but in face of Kashmiri Pandit resistance the
Muslim Communal forces had to beat a temporary retreat. The bigoted elements
in the police force came down heavy on the Pandits who were vigorously
vociferous in their demand for handing over the Laleeshwari Temple back
to them as it was unlawfully grabbed and occupied by the Muslims. The Glancy
commission constituted by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1931 unjustifiably rejected
the Pandit demand for the restoration of the possession of Hariparbat and
Shankaracharya Hillocks to the Kashmiri Pandits on the flimsy and untenable
ground of the consistence of some graves on their foot-hills. The Buddhist
sites with established historical background were not returned to the care
the possession of Pandits who had to be punished for their anti-British
stances and sentiments.
event of Jammu and Kashmir acceding to the Union of India in 1947 did not
bring spectacular cheer and relief to the native Kashmiri Pandits. Instead
a new storm of destruction gathered for them leaving them bereft and beleaguered.
As hapless victims to a tyrannical order the state governments of all political
hues vigorously worked out the single-point programme of marginalising
and edging them out of their natural habitat for ethnic cleansing. Besides
political and economic oppression and elimination they had to face governments
under tight leash of the Muslims who contrived aided and abetted the bigoted
arts of laying claims to the temples and their properties. The temple lands
cremation grounds and holy springs reinforced by relevant documents as
properties of Pandits faced immediate onslaught and were first held in
dispute by resorting to tampering of records and other fraudulent methods
and subsequently usurped by whipping up religious frenzy with a view to
expanding Islam and its reigning sway. In 1978 various SROs issued by the
government not only fortified and strengthened the Muslim Auqaf Act but
also Fated the Muslims to grab the temple lands without check and constraint
for their transmission to Muslim Trusts. Not fewer than 70 temples and
lands attached with them were cruelly confiscated from the possession of
the Pandits who proffered their claims supported by relevant revenue records
but were arbitrarily dismissed and rejected. The temples of historical
importance were aggressed and huge portions from them sliced away to be
offered to the Muslims as booty in a platter. The Spot of Vethavothur as
the source of Vitasta worshipped by the Kashmiri Pandits as manifestation
of Siva's grace was pushed into a dispute and encroached upon through generation
of mass frenzy. Lok Bhawan with its mention in Rajtarangini was turned
into a hot spot by grabbing the lands attached with the Temple from hoary
ages. The holy spring at Anantnag was wantonly aggressed and huge chunks
of land attached with it were fascistically sliced away for transfer to
the Muslims. Lands measuring 55 kanals belonging to the Durganath Temple
as the precious property were straightaway grabbed only to beef up the
landed wealth of the Muslim Auqaf Trust. The lands attached with the Hariparbat
Hillock were never offered protection by various governments from the concerted
Muslim onslaught and were subsequently grabbed and confiscated from the
helpless Pandits. The path for Parikrama around the Hillock which is central
to the theme of Kashmir's birth and its cultural history was dug out and
the earth carried to fill the Muslim Auqaf lands.
The Dewan Shiva
Temple of Fateh Kadal has borne infinite scars stabbed on it by noisy mobs
of Muslim intolerants. Its outer walls facing the road-side have been felled
and damaged umpteen times. Whenever there is a volcanic eruption of violence
mostly on superficial grounds, the said temple emerges as the prime target
of desecration, demolition and arson. On 26th of January 1989 the minority
community of Kashmiri Pandits was held in a total grip of fear and panic
when a thousand strong mob of Muslims wielding weapons desecrated and damaged
the Dewan Shiva Temple. The strong door of the temple refused to give way
and the Muslim mob indulging in vandalism removed the idols in the open
worship enclosure quite adjacent to the main temple and hurled them into
the running gutter. All attempts were made to put the temple on fire. The
government playing its tune to the unison of Muslim storm-troopers had
advance information about threat to peace on this day, but no arrangements,
stiff or lenient, were made to provide protection to the minority community
and its culture symbols. The attack on the temple was led and organised
by the pro-Pakistan cadres of people's League, Kashmir Liberation Front,
Muslim Students Federation and Islamic Students League thriving under tremendous
patronage from the government headed by Farooq Abdullah and his cohorts.
Temple at Hari Singh Street, Srinagar attracting large crowds of Hindu,
for worship has been subjected to the worst forms of desecration and plunder
at the hands of Muslim marauders. It is not once but numberless times that
the presiding idols in the temple have been desecrated, lifted and hurled
into the Jehlum at the shores of which the temple is situate. The latest
brand of violence inflicted on the temple was when the Muslims and the
Sikhs forging an alliance at the behest of two secessionist leaders, one
from the Punjab and the other from Kashmir, organised a massive procession
against the Kashmiri Pandits. Starting from the Gurudwara in Lal Chowk,
Srinagar the procession was immediately joined by the Muslims as per the
pre-meditated plans and crossing the old Amira Kadal Bridge it ran amok
and desecrated, looted and plundered the Hanuman Temple. Replicating the
history of vandalism the main idol visas plucked out from the sanctum sanctorum
and thrown despicably into the flowing waters of the Jehlum. The procession
yelling "Muslims and Sikhs are brothers. Where from have Pandits come?
" forged ahead towards Hazuri Bagh and put the Arya Samaj Mandir to flames.
And ultimately the Muslims and the Sikhs in a joint operation burnt down
the Nirankari Bhawan. Be it put that the Nirankaris are bete noire of the
at Ganpatyar in Srinagar consecrated to the god Ganpati with its history
embedded in the misty past has a woeful saga to relate as it has suffered
scares of defilement and demolition at the hands of so-called rational
nationalists and sinister communal elements day in and day out. Zulfikar
Ali Bhutto as a result of the eratic political rivalries in Pakistan was
brutally hanged and Muslims of Srinagar with a deep streak of pathology
in their collective personality lost their shirt and pelted stones at the
Ganpatyar Temple as a tactic to keep the Pandits on tenterhooks. The Arabs
lost a war to the Jews and with a view to boosting the morale of the fleeing
soldiers the Muslims took out a massive procession yelling out trenchant
anti-Jew slogans. While passing by the side of the said emple standing
calm and tranquil, they ran berserk, pelted the temple, damaged its gates
and walls with all the Islamic vigour. Desecration to some pages of the
Muslim Holy Book manipulated by some political miscreants to arouse public
wrath sparked off demonstrations massive in size and scale, and the Ganpatyar
Temple fell a victim to the Muslim fury. Farooq Abdullah won an election
and his Muslim supporters frantically celebrating his victory by flaunting
V-signs pelted the entire Hindu habitation including the temple.
marauders, violent and highly aggressive, supporting the agitation that
was unleashed at the behest of Srinagar Bar Association in thick contacts
with the powers that be burnt the entire shopping complex of the Somvar
Temple of Habbakadal. The shop-keepers suffered enormous losses and also
lost their source of livelihood. The government of Farooq Abdullah discernibly
in cahoots with the swelling tide of Muslim insurgency did not bat an eye-lid
at their plight as the victims involved were all Kashmiri Pandits who had
been scored off its slate of policy and planning to meet the ends of ethnic
cleansing. A reign of terror was let loose against the Bandit community.
Their houses were set ablaze. The temple at Sathu Barbarshah was torched.
The Pandits protested, demonstrated and clamoured for security and pleaded
for justice, butt all in vain. A mammoth public meeting of Kashmiri Pandits
held within the temple precincts to lodge a protest against the outrage
was stoned by the Muslim rabids. Scores of protectors were injured and
the police posse failed to act. All the Kashmiri Pandit fora sensing the
holocaust that was in store for them forged a joint front to fight the
government discrimination and apathy towards the community. Peaceful protests
were organised, dharnas held and representations shot. But nothing concrete
In its editorial
date-lined 20th Nov. 1987 the Martand as the official organ of the Kashmiri
Pandit ethno-religious minority has recorded, "The community had not fully
recovered from the shock of Shri A.K.Ganjoo at Sathu Barbarshah on Tuesday,
the 10th of November, when we had to suffer the burning of minority shops
in Habbakadal and a temple at Barbarshah on Tuesday the 17th of November,
in the wake of the second day of the bandh sponsored by the Srinagar Bar
Association. The terror and vandalism let loose on Tuesday resulting in
the total destruction of property worth lakhs of rupees and burning of
one temple at Sathu Barbarshah speaks well of the organisation and tenancity
of mischievous elements trying to stir up communal tension in the valley.
The violent mobs who held the city as hostage for the whole day were ably
supported by police indifference and apathy. These mobs were so to say
freely allowed to damage and destroy whatever came their way. It appeared
that the entire civil administration was not only drowsy and inactive but
in total disrepair.
We have often
referred to the tact that whenever leaders of various political parties
are at loggerheads with one another or whenever they have to cover up their
inadequacies or incompetence they find it convenient to turn to this tiny
minority and make them scapegoats for their own misdeeds. We are constrained
to say that the system which surrounds us is totally rigged against the
We cannot be
happy at the frequent eruption of violence in the state and the minority
is the main victim in majority of cases whenever such violence breaks out.
We have often cited concrete instances of loot murder burning of property
of the minority community and of governments inability to bring the culprits
to book in such instances.
We are not
certain whether we should call the attitude of the government towards the
agitation sponsored by the Srinagar Bar Association as political amateurism
or sheer complicity. During the ten days of the Srinagar Bar's boycott
of courts in support of the government s Barber Move order of October 7,
the state government never cared to issue an appeal to the Srinagar bar
to call off their boycott.
crews of Pro-Pakistan forces operating under a religious veneer never relented
in their unmitigated campaign to capture and devastate the temples and
shrines with their origins in the ancient past of Kashmir. The sacred shrine
of Muran in Pulwama fell victim to the Muslim bigotry and three sacred
springs of this historical shrine of ancient origins were filled with stones
and boulders and captured and occupied with maximum support from broad
sections of Muslim populace. The government of the day already in the lap
of fundamentalist forces did not bother to act and respond though protests
were lodged and petitions submitted.
as a spiritualist of great standing with acceptability among large sections
of Muslims had established an ashram (hermitage) at Tikar in north of Kashmir.
The Muslim storm-troopers burnt it to ashes with absolute vengeance. The
total assets of the hermitage were lost in the devastating fire. The law-enforcing
agencies allowed law to be torn to tatters and shreds. The arsonists with
established records in loot, murder and arson were never chased captured
and put on trial.
The loot plunder
and destruction of temples and shrines was not the handiwork of thieves
and burglars but as borne out by irrefutable facts had the connivance and
complicity of various brands of politicals chasing the secessionist agenda
which seemed to have state sponsorship and patronage. A gangster was caught
red-handed witl1 incendiary material on his person at the highly venerated
shrine of Chakreshwar on the Hariparbat Hillock. The police posse mounting
vigil on the shrine did not report the incident to the relevant quarters.
On getting the wind of it the devotees at the shrine raised hue and cry
contacted the government authorities and impressed on them the dire necessity
of curbing the looters and arsonists. However some arrests were made though
reluctantly and persons involved were charged with theft burglary and violation
of Arms Act. It came as a rude shock to the Kashmiri Pandits when politicals
strained their every nerve to secure their sate release. The vandals were
none other than the Muslim youth operating under political patronage to
undermine communal peace and amity with a view to expelling the Pandits
from their native land. It is pertinent to put that the Al-Jehad activists
pledged to the mission of destruction of Pandits and their properties were
the front-rank workers of National conference with its dominant membership
from the Plebiscite fronters.
rabids in their relentless and untiring campaign for the grab of the Hindu
shrines suddenly generated Muslim frenzy for constructing a mosque on the
strip of land that legally belonged to the Papaharan shrine. The government
authorities were contacted and apprised of the sinister plans of the Muslim
fanatics who harbour least respect for law of the land. They perhaps had
given them go-ahead signals became apparent when the rabids were not stopped
in their tracks of building a mosque on the land-area attached with the
shrine and encroachment, already made, was not cleared. The Superintendent
of Police and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Anantnag who were forced through
the intervention of a Hindu Minister to arrive on the trouble-spot were
shown and given the copies of the revenue records relevant to the case
thereby debunking the Muslim claims. Being Muslims of the treacherous stock
they declared to the Muslims that revenue records had neither relevance
nor sanctity. Such a declaration on part of the two government officers
expected to be fair and equitous boosted the morale of the law-breakers
who conceived and coined every coercive measure to stop the Pandits from
fencing the land area with the result that it was left open to trespass
and grab. A land area of 15 kanals and 10 marlas as was buttressed and
reinforced by revenue records was attached with the shrines
Secretary of Farooq Abdullah said to be a pimp or a tout was found feting,
wining and dining in the company of a Muslim girl in a particular house
at Anantnag. The Muslims got the wind of it and felt extremely enraged.
Their wrath should have visited on the persons involved in lechery, but
in their rabid hate they targeted a temple which was desecrated, pillaged
and looted. Its glass-panes were pelted and broken. The photographs of
gods and goddesses worshipped by Kashmir Pandits were destructed in Islamic
fashion. The assets of the temple were looted as booty. The formality of
contacting the police was carefully observed and as usual no notice was
taken of the acts of vandalism indulged in by the vicious Muslim elements.
Prior to this vandalism the Nandkeshwar shrine at Wanpoh was desecrated
and plundered and a temple at Danois village in Kulagam Tehsil was ransacked
and looted in similar fashion.
date-lined 26th July, 1985 carried an article by P.N. Bhat who had observed,
"Kashmiri Pandit community stand on cross-road of historic with all evil
forces poised against it. Not a single day passes without report from some
village, town or mohalla in the city regarding an assault here or theft
of an idol there. Land grab of the community has become the order of the
day. During the last three months historical holly shrines of Kashmiri
Pandits in Vetesta verinag, Tehsil Guru, Siligam Shivala, a shrine in Tehsil
Pahalgam and Lok Bhawan in Duru Tehsil have been desecrated. There is a
planned conspiracy to harass this unfortunate community by patronised anti-social
elements who have, it seems, earned the anticipatory clemency of ruling
parties since 1947. It has been established beyond any shadow of doubt
that in this orgailised assault, be it Vetesta, Siligam, Lok Bhawan or Tral, all the political parties,
Jammaat-i-Islami, National Conference
(F), National Conference (K) and Congress (I) join hands and have not even
a word of condemnation against these encroachments, abuses and attacks
on the members of the minority community. It is a matter of police and
intelligence record that all important leaders of National Conference (F)
and Congress (I) have given their tacit approval and active support to
these lawless lizards for belabouring the minority community at Siligam
and Lok Bhawan. The local administration is directed on telephone not to
execute the warrants against the known miscreants and pressure is mounted
on them to exact concessions from the minority community. This community
is being asked to surrender even what is left behind by the encroachers
at the point of gun."
associated with the highly revered name of Gautam Rishi has been sacred
to the Kashmiri Pandits and other Hindus who take a dip in its holy waters
before they resume their march to the cave of Amar Nath in the mountainous
region. Motivated by the same hate syndrome Qazi Nissar, the Mirwaiz of
South Kashmir, with deep pledges to the Muslim secessionist politics based
on sheer bigotry operating under the protective wings of Mufti Mohammed Sayyid, the then Congress Chief, added a new chapter to the Islamisation
campaign and communal tension which he ably and tenaciously orchestrated
and heightened by issuance of Friday calls to capture Gautam Nag shrine.
He rose like a meteor in the skies of communal politics in Kashmir when
he himself cut a ram on a day sacred to the Hindus and issued Friday calls
to the Muslims purporting to aggress the Hindu shrine for grab and occupation.
Not only did he coin a new etymology of Gautam Nag but also concocted a
story that a Muslim saint, a neo-convert to Islam, used to sit at the site
for peace and rest. The Muslim Auqaf declaring that all Muslim properties
were under its protective care and management had no impact on Qazi Nissar
who through his rude deportment and fanatic rabble-rousing came to be seen
as the pale version of Sikandar, the iconoclast.
said to have risen from rags to riches went on giving Friday calls to the
Muslims to fortify their ranks for aggression on the shrine. The process
continued with no relent with a view to keeping the communal cauldron on
non-stop simmer. On every Friday call as could be observed droves of Muslims
got collected in unprecedented numbers, fretting and fuming, bespattering
and inveighing, ready on a nod to maraud, plunder and capture the shrine.
To deter the Pandits from building a response they were reviled and humiliated
and their residential quarters were pelted and they were subjected to physical
assaults. The government of the day sunk in pathetic negligence and inertia
appeared at the fuelling end and had given ample signals that it had a
common cause with terrorism. Ultimatclv the Gautam Nag shrine was aggressed,
its dharamshallas were burnt to cinders and the Mahant living within the
premises of the shrine was cruelly beaten and spat at.
under the helmsmanship of Farooq Abdullah declared the shrine as disputed
and appointed a petty Assistant Commissioner for adjudication of the title.
Pandits not only in Anantnag but throughout the length and breath of the
valley were deeply anguished and shocked and immediately opened up channels
of communication with the government authorities inside and outside the
state. The relevant and authoritative records and documents were culled
and gleaned and submitted for perusal. Qazi Nissar acting in tandem with
the government authorities did not relent in his vicious campaign for adding
momentum to communal discord and tension, strife and disorder. The lawless
elements under patronage of the political class were in the process of
proliferating their base on ground for hiving Kashmir from the political
organisation of India.
Prabandhak Committee in its emergency session on 21st of February 1989
was unequivocal and forthright in its condemnation of the wave of commtulalism
unleashed by Qazi Nissar and rejected his utterances about the Gautam Nag
shrine as false and spurious. The committee also resolved to apprise the
Chief Minister of the state and the Central govermnent about the strengthening
of communal forces as a result of thinning of securalist ranks. The deluge
of resolutions passed and issued out by the Kashmiri Pandit organizations
and tore expressed their explicit intent to contact the Sadhu Samaj at
Allahabad that is committed in word and deed to the safe-guarding of Hindu
interests all over the country.
politics with its pointed thrust against the molecular minority of Pandits
was highlighted by the Martand, date-lined 24th of March, 1989 under the
caption "will Qazi Nissar-Farooq Abdullah collusion set Kashmir ablaze"?
The government was openly charged with a conspiratorial nexus with the
monsters of rabid hate who were doggedly working to the nefarious end of
disseminating inter-community hatred and disaffection. The mullahs of varied
brands that were imported into Kashmir Acre preaching Jehad for the achievement
of political objectifies with their sharp thrust against Kashmiri Pandits.
The armed battle between the Iranian Hajis and the Saudi security forces
and the explosion at Faizabad ammunition dump provided grist to the mill
of Muslim violence against the religious enemies. The communal propaganda
that Was politically motivated and officially regulated was invested with
vigour and stridency to realise the goal of denuding Kashmir of Hindu culture
symbols with the implicit underpinning that Kashmir had ceased to be a
cup of tea for the Pandits.
onslaught on temples and Hindu culture symbols touched a new water-mark
in the wake of Muslim terrorism sweeping the valley. Heinous crimes were
committed in grabbing, desecrating, demolishing and setting ablaze the
Hindu places of worship. Alarm bells were tolled when hundreds of temples
and shrines in the district of Anantnag were razed to the ground, their
properties looted and pillaged. Despite the disinformation campaigns launched
by B.G. Vergese and Harvinder Baweja through the columns of "India Today"
the fact remains that the Muslin insurgency holding aloft the banner of
Muslim Jehad against the miniscule minority of Pandits has destructed and
plundered temples and shrines of historical importance with a view to exterminating
infidelity from the soil of Kashmir. There is hardly a village or a town
where temples and shrines have not been destructed, desecrated and demolished.
Some temples desecrated and damaged in Kashmir from 1990 onwards are under:
1. Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar
in the Akara has been a chronic eye-sore to the Muslim fanatics. There
was a park laid out within its premises. There were dharamshallas for the
sadhus and hermits for their short sojourn and a residence for the mahant
who looks after the entire shopping-cum-office complex. It has not been
attacked once but has a history of attacks at the hands of Muslim rabids.
Dashnami Akhara is the place where-from the pilgrimage for Amar Nath starts
every year with religious rites and zeal. The same Akhara was put to flames
by the frenzied Muslim mobs causing tremendous damage and destruction to
the temple and the material properties attached with it. The Akhara is
managed by the Dharmarth Trust which perhaps did not deem it apt to lodge
a protest with the government authorities on the desecration and damage
of the temple.
has been the butt of attache whenever Muslims in their volcanic fury erupt
on streets to show down jews, to mourn the death of Zia-ul-Haq, to burn
the copies of Satanic verses written by a Muslim or to show down India
if her team has defeated Pakistan. With the launch of Muslim terrorism
the said-temple has been bombed umpteen times and subjected to rocket attacks
t. twice to say the least.
Temple, Jawahir Nagar, Srinagar
of the temple that was stuffed in the dharamshalla was brought out alongwith
some idols of the temple. Some utility items were looted as usual and other
items considered inconsequential were put on fire. The idols were hurled
away in absolute disrespect and contumely.
Nath Mandir, Anantnag
It was put
to bomb blasts at least nine times. The same has been confirmed by the
Mahant of the temple.
Nag Temple, Anantnag
having two storeys was burnt to ashes even though the Homeguards were placed
on duty there to save it from the Muslim marauders. A plethora of Sanskrit
menu scripts in Sharda script were lost in the devastating fire. The orchard
attached with the temple was mercilessly felled.
temples of Lok Bhawan, Anantnag
had suffered Muslim wrath in 1986. The then governor, Jagmohan, had got
them repaired. They were again put to an orgy of fire in the wake of terrorist
avalanche menacing the valley. The dharamshalla was burnt. The temples
were damaged and destructed.
has been completely burnt. The main idol of the Shailputri riding on an
ox was attacked and its arms and legs axed. The whole complex is devastated.
The walls surrounding the area have been damaged. The idol of Shailputri
in its mutilated form is in the protective custody of B.S.F. personnel.
The propaganda launched from various media agencies about the execution
of repairs to the devasted temple complex with the aid of locals has been
only a lie among many lies told about the secular polity of Kashmir lying
in a shambles.
8. Wanpoh Mandir, Anantnag
was repaired and face-lifted after it suffered desecration and demolition
in 1986 as a result of Muslim bigotry. The Muslim marauders have again
publicly desecrated it on 21st of February, 1992.
9. Bhairavnath Mandir, Baramulla
It was desecrated
and damaged in 1990. The scars inflicted on the temple can be visibly seen.
10. Rupabhawani Mandir, Vaskura
consecrated to the saint poetess, Rupabhawani, was subjected to the worst
brand of desecration. The idols inside the temple have been removed and
utility goods as part of assets of the temple have been looted by the Muslim
looters. Night soil was littered over the steps of tile temple not once
but ten times in the beginning of the calendar year of 1990. Some Pandits
staying back in the hamlet despite their status of hostages strongly protested
against the desecration of the revered temple. They were terrorised and
mercilessly beaten. One of them was said to have cried," If the steps of
a mosque were littered over with night-soil, you would have risen in revolt,
cried that Islam was in danger and roasted Pandits alive."
Nath Temple, Sopore
was desecrated and damaged. The idols were broken and looted. The doors
and windows of the temple have been looted and the walls around the temple
levelled and the materials looted by the Islamic looters.
12. Khirbhawani Mandir, Ganderbal
of the temple can be traced to epic times. It was subjected to a rocket
attack on 4th April 1991 in which outer gate of the temple was severely
damaged. It was again subjected to an attack on 4th of May, 1991. The outer
structures still bear the bullet scars. According to B.G. Verghese the
temple attracted attacks because of the presence of security forces guarding
the temple. But he had not a word to say about hundreds of temples which
were desecrated, damaged and destroyed by the Muslims and had no security
forces to mount vigil on them.
A Muslim mob
yelling in extreme fury and indignation entered the sacred premises of
the temple and said Namaz and declared to the world that it was a Muslim
The state administration
replaced the CRPF personnel guarding the hermitage by the local armed police
personnel who visibly harboured hate for the shrine and the Mahant looking
after its management affairs. The Muslims targetted the hermitage and burnt
most of the construction within its premises on 19th of Ocotber, 1990.
The Mahant, Sukh Ram, had personally met the Home Minister who despite
his promises to defend the shrine allowed the Muslim bigotry to take a
toll of the sacred site of the Hindus.
three temples at Vilagam All the three are desecrated by the Muslim marauders.
Walls enclosing the temples have been dismantled and materials looted.
Idols have been either broken or removed.
has been desecrated. The original idol has been removed from the sanctum
of the temple is standing, but there is no idol which has been broken or
stolen by the Muslim bigots.
has been desecrated and its main idol broken or stolen.
It is a hermitage
with lots of land attached with it which are said to have been grabbed
by the Muslims. The mahant was hacked to pieces.
at Pattan which were ravaged and destroyed by the infamous Sikandar, the
iconoclast, have been further devastated by the modern-day iconoclasts.
That is how the ruins have dwarfed. The huge slabs that were still standing
giving it the look of temples belonging to the hoary past have been removed
and broken into heaps of pebbles.
The huge stone
held in great reverence at Gantamulla has been broken with hammers. Its
half is missing and half is still standing. There were three hooves of
the sacred cow at the same place and Kashmiri Pandits would throng the
place on a particular day and date to have their "darshan". One hoof has
been maliciously destroyed.
22. Hanumat Kund, Kupwara
Kund at the place of Halmatpora was a spring of oozing waters. It was held
in reverence even by Muslims. Gujjar Muslims are said to have desecrated
the spring by offering it meat and since then it is said to have dried
up and it has now been filled up with stones and boulders.
lie between Tangadar and Teetwal. The idol of Ram has been desecrated,
broken or looted.
Bagh Temple, Baramulla
It was a Shiva
Temple and has been burnt.
Temple, Pattan, Baramulla
of an unknown saint within the temple premises has been demolished.
It has been
It stands burnt
Nath Temple, Baramulla
It had 10 kanals
of land attached with it. It is burnt.
Temple, Zainpora, Kulagam
suffered the Muslim wrath when Mast Gul and his local Muslim collaborators
burnt the chrar mausoleumof Nund Rishi. It was a temple after the pattern
of Khsirbhawani Temple at Tulamulla. It was desecrated, looted and destroyed
by the Muslim Vandals.
It has been
a centre of pilgrimage for the Kashmiri Pandits since ages. It had an ancient
temple made of wood with dhooni (holy fire) burning perennially. Even the
Afghan tyrants could not put it out. But the modern day frenzied Muslims
have desecrated and decimated the whole complex with impunity. Swami Swayamanand
had built a new complex at the site after the pattern of Khsirbhawani Temple.
The Dharmashallas with three storeys each have not been spared either.
The assets of the temple have been looted by the Muslim vandals.
It is located
within the heart of the town. Its origins lie in the Mother Goddess worship
tradition. It was looted, desecrated and burnt. Its fencing is removed
and looted. Two Dharmshallas within the temple premises have been burnt.
The Shiva Temple
standing by the side of Boys High School was looted and burnt. The Ganesh
Temple within the same premises was enclosed by a brick-wall which has
been demolished and materials looted. The G.I.E. sheets covering the structures
have been dismantled and looted. The whole area is ravaged and destroyed.
It was a temple
consecrated to the goddess Ragnya. The idol in the pond is desecrated and
looted. The Dharamshalla with two storeys is completely gutted. The G.I.E.
sheets are looted. The Dharmashalla was so capacious that it could accommodate
5,000 pilgrims at a time. The walnut trees and poplars growing within the
tracts of land measuring 100 kanals have been felled and looted. Small
wooden chowkies and huts have also been looted and burnt.
The Shiva Temple
standing by the road-side is burnt. Another temple built by the Dogra Rajputs
has also been set ablaze.
standing opposite to the Boys High Schools, Arrh is burnt to ashes. Another
Shiva Temple standing in the midst of the habitation has met the same fate.
The foundations of another temple had been laid. The plinth that was laid
out has been dug out and materials looted by the Islamic looters.
It was a replica
of the Kulavaghishwari Temple of Kulagam. The wall around the temple has
been dismantled and materials looted. G.I.E. sheets are also looted. The
two storeyed Dharamshalla is burnt and destroyed. Chinars and walnut trees
growing within the temple lands measuring 9-1/2 kanals have been felled
and looted. The assets of the temple are also looted. The Muslim government
of Krishna Rao proved shameless bysanctioning an ex-gratia grant of Rs.
3000/- which has been refused outright in view of the enormous losses suffered
by the Kashmiri Pandits.
It has been
totally razed to the ground. The icons of Shiva Parvati and Katyayani have
been desecrated and broken into pieces. Dharmashalla is burnt. Materials
of the temple are looted as booty. The fencing around the temple area measuring
three kanals has been removed and destroyed.
Temple, Kharbrari, Kulgam
It has a spring
with ancient Shiva Lingas studding its sides. The trees and poplars growing
within the temple have been felled and looted. The wall around the temple
has been dismantled.
39. Temple, Bugam, Kulagam
It is completely
burnt. Its shiva and Ganesh idols have been desecrated and destroyed. It
is standing on the Maw Kuliya, a part of Vishoka (veshaw).
40. Temple, Dhanav, Bogund, Kulagam
It was the
seat of Muslim loot of 1986. The temple which was looted and destroyed
in 1986 was repaired and now has again been looted and burnt by the same
brand of Muslim destroyers.
41. Temple, Wanpoh, Anatnag
The two Shiva
Temples on the Nandi Kulya have been burnt and destroyed. They were destroyed
in 1986 loot as well.
42. Temple, Ashmuji, Kulagam
with an area of 3 kanals has been burnt.
It is an ancient
temple site. It is burnt and its assets have been looted by the insatiable
44. Temple, Khanbarni, Kulagam
owes its origins to ancient past. Its area spawns over 1-1/2 kilometres
up into the forests. It is a replica of Khsirbhawani temple. It has been
burnt to ashes. The pine trees considered sacred and worshipped have been
felled and burnt. It is essentially known as the seat of Mother Goddess
Bharan Temple, Shopian
It was a small
temple built after the tradition that \vas set by the Hindu rulers. The
Muslims could not but burn it too.
Dwar Temple Shopian
It was standing
on the shores of river Rambiara. It was built by Rajputs with lots of investment.
The Muslim arsonists burnt it with vengeance. A Dharmashalla for pilgrims
was also burnt by sprinkling kerosene over it.
The Linga in
the temple is desecrated and broken into pieces. The Dharamshalla meant
for pilgrims has been burnt to ashes.
It was the
biggest temple in the area built by a Dogra. It has 10 kanals of land attached
with it. The temple is burnt and lands are encroached upon. The assets
of the temple have been looted by Islamic looters. The Shiva and Parvati
idols are broken and desecrated.
49. Temple, Mahnoor, Badgam
It was desecrated
50. Temple, Yechakoot, Badgam
It was a temple
consecrated to the goddess Sharika. It was burnt alongwith chinars in and
around the temple area.
51. Temple Shoolipora, Badgam
It was looted
52. Temple Sangrampora, Badgam
It is the seat
of the latest massacre of Kashmiri Pandits. The Shiva Temple within the
hamlet was denuded of utensils, druggets and other assets long back. Planks
worth 30,000 were looted from the temple premises.
The water flowing
out at a fixed time and date from a particular spot known as Gangajattan
is highly revered by Kashmiri Pandits. Thronging the place in large numbers
they would have a purifying bath and take to meditation. It was stopped
by the Shia-Muslims as it was fiated un-Islamic and hence as part of infidelity.
Temple, Rainawari, Srinagar
marauders have dug the temple from inside and Linga is hurled out into
the rubble. Paintings on walls have been erased and destroyed. The icon
of Jagatamba (mother of Universe) on a lion is broken into pieces. Two
Dharmshallas are burnt and destroyed. Worship materials are looted. An
FIR was lodged which was registered after great prevarication.
Koul Temple, Hariparbat
is damaged by Muslim vandals. Walls around the temple are dismantled and
materials looted. Dharmashalla is burnt.
It is an ancient
temple. Devotees having a parikrama of the Hillock commence their worship
from this very temple. It has been desecrated, looted and burnt. The religious
literature within the temple has been destroyed. Brutal attempts were made
to damage the 'Shila' worshipped in great reverence.
57. Prayag Chinar, Shadipora
at Prayag alongwith a small temple is destroyed with vengefulness. The
Pandits would immerse the ashes of their dead at this confluence.
58. 7 Temples, Rainawari, Srinagar
All the seven
temple in the locality of Rainawari have been desecrated, looted and destroyed.
The Dharamshallsas within the temples have been burnt or damaged.
59. Vaital Bhairav, Dal Lake
The Shiva Temple
in the premises of vaital Bhairav in the Dal Lake has been surrounded by
public latrines built by Muslims who are sheer spiteful boors. The iron
fencing of the temple is said to be damaged and removed.
Pathshahi Temple, Srinagar
It was a small
temple located near Food Control Department, J&K Government. The Idol
of Shiva is desecrated and broken. The Srinagar Development Authority is
said to have closed the gate of the temple by constructing a wall illegally
on that side. The Supervisor appointed by the Dharamarth Trust was warned
of dire consequences by the local Muslims if he entered the temple premises
for inspection and assessment of losses.
Temple, Khankhai Sokta, Safakadal, Srinagar
The idols of
Ram and Sita are destroyed. A separate Shiva temple in the same complex
has suffered the same fate. The Shiva Lmga is hurled into the Jehlum. The
Dharamshalla having two storeys is burnt to cinders.
Bhawani Asthapan, Khankhai Sokta, Srinagar
It is destroyed
and burnt. The G.I.E. sheets are looted. The walls around the temple are
dismantled and materials looted.
63. Temple, Purushyar, Srinagar
situated on the shores of the Jehlum was ravaged and desecrated. The Dharamshalla
was put afire by the Muslim arsonists.
There are no
idols in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The doors and windows of
the temple are removed and looted. The walls of the temple have been scratched
and razed. Shiva Linga thrown out of the temple is damaged. Chain is hanging
and bell has been looted. All types of slang and obscenities are scribbled
over the damaged walls of the temple. Dharamshalla is razed to the ground.
Pandit houses around the temple premises are burnt and destroyed.
Nath Temple, Fateh Kadal, Srinagar
of the temple has been pulled down. The idols studding the parikrama are
missing. The idols of Ram, Sita and Hanuman are missing from the temple.
Chain is hanging, but bell has been looted by the frenzied looters. The
inner walls of the sanctum sanctorum are scratched. All sorts of dirt including
shit is littered over the temple premises. All sorts of obscenities with
genitals as the main theme are scribbled over the temple walls with charcoal.
While going to the river-side there was a temple structure which has been
destroyed. Steps leading to the main temple have been dug out.
The team of
Kashmiri Pandits who paid a visit to the temple in the wake of the Sangrampora
massacre was shocked to find obscenities of the worst brand scribbled over
the temple walls.
Gopi Nath Ashram, Kharyar, Srinagar
The main gate
of the ashram has been levelled. The dirt and rubble littered over the
compound of the ashram is thrown inside it by the secular Muslims. The
temple 'sousing the Ganapati idol has been stoned and damaged. The trunk
is chopped off. The mahl ashram is blocked by planks of wood after putting
it to a bout of loot.
It is a piece
of monument marking a specific development in the Hindu architecture. The
same temple has been desecrated. The Muslim boors have built huge public
latrines around it thus polluting the environs of the temple. The temple
stones engraved with the figurines of Hindu deities are used as doorsteps
to denigrate the Hindu faith.
68. Temples, Malmoh, Badgam
situated on the Nallah Ferozpore have been looted. The walls around them
are demolished. Trees standing in their midst have been felled and looted.
The icon of Ganapati in the temple of Bhagishwar Bhairav was broken allegedly
by one Mohammad Ashraf S/o Abdul Aziz who was never caught and tried for
the heinous crime.
Shalla Kadal, Kanikadal, Srinagar
built by the family of Tickoos has been occupied by a Muslim and is said
to have turned it into his residence. He has painted the whole temple structure
green and has hurled the Shiva idol into a gutter.
Temple, Kathidarwaza, Srinagar
It is situated
on the shores of the Nageen Lake. It has been savagely looted and plundered.
The musical instruments within the Dharamshallas have been looted. The
utensils, pots, pans and cups worth lakhs of rupees have been removed from
the temple premises by the Islamic crusaders. The Sikhs inhabiting the
neighbourhood of the temple could not save the temple from the vandals.