Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that her statement following the Pampore attack on the CRPF, in which she reportedly said she was ashamed of being a Muslim, was a misquote spread by a section of the media. She clarified she was proud to be a Muslim and is only ashamed of the terrorists who are resorting to violence in the garb of Islam.
Mehbooba also took on the clergy of the state, alleging the latter has abdicated its social responsibility and was only raking up controversial political issues in mosques. Earlier, Mehbooba had come under heavy attack from the separatists, the clergy and religious organisations for her “ashamed to be a Muslim” remark.
The opposition National Conference has, meanwhile, alleged that all the imams of mosques are under surveillance by the state police and the CID. The NC has also accused Mehbooba of declaring an unofficial emergency in the state by allegedly “suspending” all basic civil rights and liberties. The opposition’s statement was issued soon after local newspapers quoted senior police officers as saying that they have been told to keep surveillance on the imams in Kashmir.
Quoting a recent high level meeting by Additional Director General CID S.M. Sahai, the newspapers reported that he directed the officials to start profiling the clergy in their respective areas. He has also reportedly told CID sleuths to monitor the activities inside the mosques and other religious places in Kashmir. Subsequently, the state CID officials are preparing a list of the imams with their political and other affiliations. The police swung into action after Mehbooba Mufti told the police top brass that she will not tolerate the clergy to disturb the peace in Kashmir and spoil the tourist season. “I had eight coffins of CRPF men in front of me. It was terribly traumatic and agonising. One feels terribly pained at the thought of bodies coming home to families and children. Who is benefitted out of it?” Mehbooba asked on the floor of the J&K Assembly.