Jammu & Kashmir

Family, religious groups demand release of ‘arrested’ Shia cleric in Pattan

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Manzoor Ahmad malik

Baramulla: The family and relatives of Moulana Manzoor Malik, a Shia cleric, who as per the family was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police three days ago, have sought his immediate release.

A resident of Nowlar area of Pattan, in Baramulla district, Malik was ‘arrested’ after personnel of Jammu and Kashmir police arrived at his residence and asked him to visit the police station Pattan.

“They arrived at Malik’s residence on 9th Muharram (August 18) and he was summoned to visit the police station next day,” a family member told Free Press Kashmir.

He said when Malik visited the police station the next day, he was detained and since then he is under detention.

This is the first time after a year that the cleric has been arrested, the family said, adding, Malik also leads the Friday congregational prayers at a local mosque in Pattan.

In 2020, Malik had addressed a gathering of Shia mourners following which he was detained and slapped with UAPA. “There was some anti-India sloganeering witnessed at the spot,” the family member said.

He said that police has not informed about his release yet; however, the family has approached a local court seeking the immediate release of Malik.

Meanwhile, the Majlis Ulema Imamia, Jammu Kashmir condemned his arrest in the holy month of Muharram and demanded his release at the earliest.

“The administration cannot suppress the voice of Shia mourners by arresting the Muslim leaders from their communities,” the socio-religious organization said.

Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Pattan, Zaffer Mehind told Free Press Kashmir that the cleric is under detention as First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against him.

When asked when the cleric is scheduled to get out of the detention, the officer refused to comment on the issue.


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