Sacred relics saved from Srinagar shrine fire displayed
Srinagar, June 27 (IANS) The holy relics of 11th century Muslim saint, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, were displayed to the media by their custodian in Srinagar Wednesday, setting at rest all fears about their safety.
Syed Khalid Hussain Geelani, custodian of the holy relics, displayed them before the media at his residence adjacent to the gutted shrine in Khanyar locality of Srinagar city, the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital.
The relics include a hair of the saint's beard, a Ouran manuscript that is believed to have calligraphy by Imam Ali Murtaza, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, and another rare Quranic manuscript.
"I am displaying these (holy relics) before the media today to prove that all of them are safe. The displaying of holy relics became essential to assure the devotees that these are safe," the custodian said.
Asked whether the relics would be displayed before the public, the custodian said traditionally these are displayed to devotees only during the saint's death anniversary - called Urs - and that practice would be followed.
"I am sure there is no need to display the relics to the public after these have been shown to the media to be safe," the custodian added.
The relics were retrieved from a fire-proof vault in which these were kept in the shrine, which was gutted in a devastating blaze here on Monday.
The state government has ordered the reconstruction of the shrine to restore it to its original glory.
A probe headed by Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Asgar Hassan Samoon has also been ordered to ascertain the cause of the fire that destroyed the shrine.
Meanwhile, a complete spontaneous shutdown affected life in Srinagar Wednesday. Moreover, curfew-like restrictions were imposed by authorities in six police station areas of the old city to maintain law and order.
Kashmir's chief cleric, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din also addressed the media here Wednesday.
He has asked people to observe a mourning shutdown till Friday. He also appealed to people to march to the site of the gutted shrine on Friday to express their devotion to the saint.
Mufti Bashir-ud-Din rejected the official probe in the shrine's destruction, and sought an independent enquiry into the causes of the fire.
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