Protests erupted in central Kashmir on Tuesday after an Indian Army soldier allegedly torched a portrait of slain Iranian commander Major General Qasem Soleimani.

As part of ongoing Army census in Kashmir, the soldiers of Army’s 2 Rashtriya Rifles on Tuesday entered a residential house at Malbuchan village in Budgam district.

“They lifted a portrait of Soleimani from the wall of the house and later set it ablaze,” eyewitnesses and officials said.

The torching of Soleimani’s portrait angered the villagers, triggering massive protests which soon spread to the town centre of Magam on Srinagar-Gulmarg highway. Angry protesters even clashed with the police and paramilitary personnel, reports from the area said.

Soleimani, a revered figure among Shia Muslims for his key role in securing sacred Islamic sites in West Asia from ISIS and mobilising resistance against American occupation was assassinated by the US drone strike in 2020 when he was traveling to Iraq. The portraits of iconic Iranian general adorn Shia homes and habitations the world over.

“The Army soldiers desecrated our martyr Soleimani during a census. Amy has to apologise otherwise protests will continue,” said a protester.

A police spokesman later said that allegation against security forces at village Malbuchan in Magam was being “enquired into” and that the situation was “under control.”

According to news agency Kashmir News Trust the Army officer identified as Commanding Officer 2 RR, Colonel Raman later visited the village and re-installed the photograph of Qasem Soleimani.

The Army officer was accompanied by Sub District Magestrate, Pattan. The officer apologized to the people present and re-installed the photograph of the slain Iranian military commander.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Central Kashmir Sujit Kumar said that the “issue has been sorted out and the situation is normal now.”

Source » kashmirobserver