Dastageer Sahab (RA) Urs: Arrangements were inadequate, complain devotees

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Srinagar, Jan 10: Scores of devotees visiting the shrine of Dastageer Sahab (RA) at Khanyar here on his annual Urs alleged that the arrangements made by the Jammu and Kashmir Wakf Board were inadequate.
They said that the Wakf Board had not kept enough prayers rugs available for the devotees due to which many of them had to pray on uncovered roads.
“You see how many people here are praying on the roads without prayers rugs. It is appalling that the Urs observed once in a year is sans arrangements,” said Muhammad Iqbal Wagay, a devotee from Hajin, Bandipora.
Many decried that the organising committee selected only a certain portion for congregational prayers due to which some missed it.
“For the last 30 years, I never missed my prayers here. But today, it was a big disappointment for me, as the authorities have prepared only little space for the congregational prayers. We could get a glimpse of holy relics,” said Muhammad Sultan, a devotee from Kupwara.
The devotees said that the administration should have removed the vendors in the area to accommodate maximum devotees.
“It seems that the vendors have become a priority for the authorities on this occasion. The government should have widened the area,” Sultan said.
Devotees, especially women, said that the dearth of toilets and washrooms proved to a major problem for them.
“We had to wait for a long time for ablutions. The washrooms too have not been maintained. The problem was worse for the devotees who spent the night praying at the shrine,” said Mehmooda, a devotee from Baramulla.
Devotes were annoyed to see the shrine, which was gutted in a devastating fire in 2012, yet to be fully reconstructed.
“Now almost four years have passed, but the construction of the shrine has not been completed. Its walls are yet to be painted green from the outside. This shrine of Peer Dastageer Sahab (RA) is most revered here; it becomes a responsibility of the Wakf Board and the local organizing committee to look after it,” said Majid Ahmad, a devotee from Kulgam.
The Vice-Chairman Wakf Board, Peer Muhammad Hussain, said that the rush of devotees this year was more compared to the previous years.
He said that the board had made all arrangement for convenience of the devotees.
“The devotees had to pray on the road because this year we saw a huge rush of people. There was no shortage of facilities,” he said.

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