Hazratbal Imam Relieved of Duties Amid Conversion Controversy

Hazratbal Imam Relieved of Duties Amid Conversion Controversy

Srinagar: In the aftermath of an FIR registered over an alleged forced conversion incident, the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board has taken swift action, relieving the cleric of Hazratbal shrine from his duties and initiating an enquiry to probe his role.

The controversy unfolded on Jumat-ul-Vida, the last Friday of Ramazan, when a video surfaced showing a non-local purportedly converting to Islam and reciting Kalima at Srinagar’s revered Hazratbal shrine. The incident quickly caught the attention of authorities, leading to the filing of an FIR at Nigeen police station against a Srinagar resident accused of coercing his domestic help, a non-local named Sandeep, into converting to Islam.

Responding to the gravity of the situation, the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board convened an emergency meeting at its Central Office to address the incident and chart a way forward. The meeting, attended by leading Imaam-o-Khateebs of the Board, unanimously concluded that the incident had caused confusion and potential discord among the public. Additionally, concerns were raised about the lack of adherence to due process, both in terms of Islamic law and government regulations, during the alleged conversion.

In light of these findings, the Waqf Board took decisive action, relieving Kamal-ud-din Farooqui, the cleric accused of presiding over the conversion, from his duties as Imaam-o-Khateeb, Aasar-i-Shareef, Hazratbal, pending the completion of the inquiry. The Waqf said there were allegations that Farooqui presided over forcible conversion during Friday prayers.

Furthermore, the Board sanctioned the formation of an Enquiry Committee to investigate the matter thoroughly. The committee, chaired by Syed Mohammad Hussain, a Board Member, includes Ghulam Nabi Haleem, another Board Member, and Mohammad Yaseen Khan, Imaam-o-Khateeb of Syed Karam Shah Sahib in Karan Nagar, Srinagar.

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