SRINAGAR, July 30: Inside his king-size office, the Bhagavad Gita and the holy Quran rest side-by-side. On the floor, the prayer-mat bifurcates the namaz enclosure from the main office area.
Meet Molvi Aijaz, a devout Muslim, who has set an example of communal harmony by taking on the powerful land mafia to save Hindu temple land property from being gobbled-up in Kashmir.
The 57-year-old lawyer has filed hundreds of petitions in various courts trying to save the temple property from being sold by unscrupulous elements taking advantage of the turmoil and sloppy system.
“I am mandated by the Shariat to safeguard and protect the life and property of the minorities in Kashmir,” he said.
According to a 2009 census conducted by the Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Samiti, 90% of temples have been desecrated, looted, burned or encroached since the onset of militancy.
Molvi has been arguing for setting up a trust to safeguard temple property in the valley. “I approached almost all political and religious leaders of Kashmir to form a trust for preservation of non-Muslim temple property in the same manner it was done by Prophet Mohammad when Jews left behind their property. But in my case nobody came forward to join hands for this cause,” he said.
Molvi has a now a new mission in hand; to help in renovating the damaged Hanuman temple at Kanipora. “Let someone from the minority community come forward, I am ready to help them out,” he said.
(The author is correspondent, Daily News & Analysis)