Valley’s Biz community accuses Govt of ‘direct interference in religious affairs’

The Business Community of Kashmir on Tuesday lashed out at the government for ‘harassing’ people of Kashmir and accused it of ‘direct interference in religious affairs of people.’

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, KCCI Vice President Abdul Hamid Mir condemned what he termed as repeated harassment of leaders, institutions and organisations in Kashmir.

He said socio-religious institutions were a part of Kashmiri history and culture. “Their role in upliftment of the poor, supporting orphans and imparting education and Islamic values to a majority of the population is unparalleled,” he said.

Mir said that any attempt to weaken these institutions and their leaders by making motivated accusations is being seen as a direct interference in “our religious affairs.”

“We are of the firm conviction that under present abnormal conditions prevailing in the State, the Government shall act more cordially to avoid harassment to Kashmiris,” he said.

Recently, Government of India banned Jamaa-e-Islami.

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti lead a protest against the Jamaat ban in Anantnag and called it ‘interference in religion.’

Recently, National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said that his party has always opposed Jamaat-e-Islami in the political space, however GoI’s crackdown on them will serve no purpose.

In a series of tweets, the former Chief Minister also pointed out that the ban will drive their activities underground.

ALSO READ: Jamaat ban: Future of 300 schools, over one lakh students at stake

On the contrary, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has vehemently opposed the ban. Mufti recently asked that why is Government of India is so ‘uncomfortable’with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

“While Hindu groups are given ‘carte blanche to spread misinformation & vitiate the atmosphere. But an organization that has worked tirelessly for Kashmiris is banned,” she said in a tweet.

She also pointed out that ‘ideas cannot be banned or jailed, need a better idea to replace it.’

Jamaat, in their statement, termed the imposition of ban on the party as ‘unconstitutional, undemocratic and unethical’.

Reading out a statement of the various trade bodies, transporters and industrialists during a press conference at the KCCI office, he said that a concerted attempt was being made to cause disruptions and provoke the peace-loving population of the valley.

“There are cases of murderous physical assaults on Kashmir. A section of the social and electronic media is being used to tarnish our image. A number of innocent people and leaders have been jailed. The Valley appears to be under siege,” said Mir.

Mir said the government should take immediate corrective measures to defuse the situation.

The business community also took a strong note of the notice issued to Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

“Besides being Mirwaiz of Jammu and Kashmir, this family (Mirwaiz family) is connected for centuries with the people of Kashmir. They have remained torch bearers providing platform for imparting education, inculcating of spiritual and moral values besides social services. Not only do the Muslims of Kashmir but even the Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs have high esteem towards this dynasty since (sic) centuries,” he said.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had been summoned by the National Investigation Agency on Saturday.

The summon read, “Whereas, it appears that you are acquainted with the circumstances of the case noted below, which is now under investigation by the NIA, New Delhi, you are hereby required to report before the undersigned at National Investigation Agency, Ministry of Home Affairs, Opposite CGO complex Lodhi Road, new Delhi on 11-02-2019 at 10:30 am for the purpose of your examination relating to the case,” said a notice, issued to the Mirwaiz by the NIA.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday in a written reply to the NIA regarding his summon has decided not to travel to New Delhi.

In his written reply according to his legal counsel ‘it was unwise for his client to travel to Delhi under the prevailing conditions of hostility wherein there is a threat to the personal safety of my client.’

Ten organisations who were part of the press conference included Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCC&I), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shehr- e-Khaas Coordination Committee, Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation (KTMF(R), Jamia Traders Association, Beopar Mandal S R Gunj, Central Traders & Manufacturers Association, and Kashmir Welfare Transporters Association.

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