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‘Demonise’ charge on Mufti

Srinagar, Feb. 7: Some pro-aazaadi groups in the Valley have accused Grand Mufti Bashiruddin of “demonising” Kashmir with his fatwas, particularly the one that forced all-girl band Praagaash to disband, with one planning to move court.

The calls for action against the Mufti came as the Omar Abdullah government cracked down on the alleged online abusers of the band’s three girls. Three persons have been held and dozens of Facebook users are under the scanner.

While the alleged threats precipitated the band’s problems, the Praagaash girls had cited “respect for Mufti” and “Kashmiri sensitivities” while quitting.

Many pro-aazaadi groups disapproved of the band but distanced themselves from the fatwa. “He (the Mufti) is running a parallel judicial system and the government allows himů we are making the government a party in the case,” said Parvez Imroz of the Coalition of Civil Societies, which will challenge in the high court Bashiruddin’s authority.

Imroz dubbed the Mufti a “self-styled Supreme Court of Islamic Shariah demonising” all Kashmiris.