Mosque and Gurdwara Face off at Naulakha

May 27, 2008

Author: Abdul Manan

Source: Pakistan Daily Times

A shopkeeper at Naulakha Bazaar set up a mosque on the roof of his shop about a month ago, right opposite Gurdwara Shaheed Singh Singhrian without permission or a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from authorities concerned, neighbouring shopkeepers told Daily Times on Monday.

The mosque has been established on the roof of Shop 37 at Chowk Shaheed Gunj, Naulakha Bazaar. The building is owned by the Jammu and Kashmir State Property Pakistan (JKSPP). The gurdwara, on the other hand, is also a disputed property since it was constructed in 2000 on the site of the Shaheed Gunj Masjid, which had been demolished after a court order in 1935. A gurdwara had also been built on a mosque in 1762 at the site.

Distance to be kept: The recent mosque and the gurdwara are merely 25 feet apart though the Auqaf Department rules mention that all religious places should be at least 200 feet from each other.

Residents of the area, talking to Daily Times, expressed the fear that the presence of the mosque and gurdwara at such close proximity could ignite interfaith clashes. They alleged that the mosque management intended to demolish the gurdwara as their next step.