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Waqf Board Removes Dargah Hazratbal Imam Amid Alleged Forced Conversion Controversy

The Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board swiftly responded to the alleged forced conversion incident at the Hazratbal shrine by relieving the cleric, Kamal-ud-din Farooqui, of his duties pending an inquiry. The incident, which occurred during Friday prayers, involved a non-local reportedly converting to Islam, sparking controversy and prompting legal action.

An emergency meeting convened by the Waqf Board highlighted concerns about potential discord and the lack of adherence to due process in the alleged conversion. The decision to relieve Farooqui and form an Enquiry Committee chaired by Syed Mohammad Hussain reflects the Board’s commitment to upholding religious sanctity while ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards.

The Enquiry Committee, comprised of prominent members, has been tasked with investigating the incident thoroughly and submitting a factual report within seven days. This decision aims to address public concerns, preserve harmony, and restore confidence in religious institutions in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police have initiated legal proceedings, registering FIR no 55/2024, following the dissemination of a viral video depicting the conversion. The police assert that the video’s circulation has fueled public unrest and raised concerns about religious harmony.

The FIR was lodged against a Srinagar resident, Anayat Muntazir, accused of coercing his domestic help, Sandeep Kumar, a Haryana resident, into converting to Islam. The investigation is ongoing as authorities seek to uncover the circumstances surrounding the alleged forced conversion and uphold legal principles.

As the inquiry progresses, attention remains focused on the Enquiry Committee’s findings, expected to shed light on the incident’s intricacies and provide clarity to the public. The outcome of the investigation holds significance in maintaining social cohesion and ensuring the integrity of religious practices in Jammu and Kashmir.

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