SRINAGAR: Fire gutted one of the most revered Sufi Muslim shrines in Indian Kashmir on Monday sparking clashes between police and angry Muslim protesters, witnesses said.
At least six people were hurt in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar when police fired teargas at stone-throwing protesters enraged over the destruction of the 350-year-old wooden shrine which housed a relic of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, an 11th century Sufi saint, police said.
Rioters torched a fire engine and threw stones at firefighters and some members of the media.
“After morning prayers, fire started from the roof top of the shrine. We’re still trying to determine the cause,” said
Farooq Ahmad, a police official at the scene.
“The holy relic of the Sufi saint is safe and has been retrieved.”
Police sealed off roads leading to the shrine where hundreds of men and women had gathered, many of them wailing and crying.