Waqf Board imposes ban on carrying footwear inside Masjids, shrines in Kashmir

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar: To maintain cleanliness and uphold the sanctity of the Waqf-notified Masjids and shrines in the region, Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board Chairperson Saturday imposed a ban on carrying of footwear by the devotees inside these sacred places.
The decision comes after the Waqf Board chairperson Darakshan Andrabi was made aware of the “undesirable practice” of worshippers offering prayers in the vicinity of their footwear, which not only creates unhygienic conditions but also breaches the sacrosanctity of these sacred places.
To effectively enforce the ban, Andrabi issued directions for the installation of suitable shoe racks outside the praying areas.
“The Executive Engineer of the J&K Waqf Board, in consultation with the concerned administrator, will identify appropriate locations for the installation of an adequate number of shoe racks,” the J&K Waqf Board circular reads.
“A proposal for the installation of these racks is expected to be submitted to the office promptly,” it reads.
Furthermore, the Executive Engineer has been instructed to take immediate steps to ensure that the entire shoe rack area remains under CCTV surveillance.
“This measure aims at deterring any attempts to violate the ban and maintain a strict monitoring system within the premises,” the circular reads.
Andrabi said that once the shoe racks and CCTV surveillance are in place, all administrators of shrines and associated Masjids would be responsible for ensuring that no individual is allowed to carry footwear inside these holy places.
“Adequate staff should be assigned duties to enforce the ban effectively,” the circular reads.
It reads that in cases where sufficient shoe racks are already available and under CCTV surveillance, the ban on entry of footwear would be implemented immediately.
“This decision aims to expedite the enforcement of the ban in areas where infrastructure is already in place,” the circular reads.
Andrabi has made it clear that any dereliction of duty by the staff in implementing the ban would result in disciplinary action.