GoI ‘red-flagging’ Iranian clerics’ visit to JK after Burhan Wani posters surface in Muharram processions: Report

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Srinagar: The government of India is monitoring speeches being given by religious leaders at mosques and other congregations amid reports of red-flagging visits of Iranian clerics in Jammu and Kashmir, The Hindu reported.

“The immediate trigger seems to be the posters of Hizbul Mujahideen “commander” Burhan Wani that surfaced during a Muharram procession in Kashmir last month”, the report stated.

Imran Ansari, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator from Pattan in north Kashmir, was quoted by TH as having said that two men associated with the Hurriyat Conference flashed the banners of Wani at the procession.

“This should not have happened. We were mourning Imam Hussain … this is the first time that such a thing happened. Wani’s posters appeared as there were attempts to politicise the mourning. That is not the mandate,” Ansari told TH.

He also said that though clerics from Iran regularly visited Kashmir Valley, no cleric gave any fiery speech during Muharram.

ALSO READ: Muharram 2017: When a religious event turned colourful with a stark message 

J&K Governor Satya Pal Mallik had earlier told TH that inquiries were on about the visit of the Iranian ‘maulvis’.

Ansari explained to TH that the Iranian clergy had a permanent office in Delhi, Daftar-e-Rahbari, that is under their direct supervision. “They have schools in Kashmir and Kargil … the Iranian clerics do come. But this Muharram no one came … the posters of Burhan Wani were flashed in one of the ‘daayras’ (rally). There were 48 others,” he said.

A senior government official said as quoted by TH that they were watching the speeches being given by religious leaders including those by Shia leaders. “Since they come here for religious sermons, they are easily given visas. We are checking if they violated visa provisions,” the official said.

Earlier, in the old city’s area of Kamangar, Rajorikadal last month, slogans of Azadi reverberated during Muharram processions (Juloos) in the past few days.

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