Farooqui removed as Imam of Hazratbal over alleged forced conversion

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Apr 9: The J&K Waqf Board today relieved the cleric of Hazratbal shrine and constituted a committee to look into his role in the alleged forced conversion of a man.
“Kamal-ud-din Farooqui, is relieved from the duties of Imaam-o- Khateeb, Aasar-e-Shareef, Hazratbal till completion of the enquiry or till further orders,” read the order issued by the Executive Magistrate (Tehsildar) Waqf Board.
On Jumat-ul-Vida- the last Friday of Ramazan, the Imam of Kamal-ud-din Farooqui presided over the conversion of a non-local to Islam at Srinagar’s Hazratbal shrine.
Police registered an FIR in Police Station Nageen against a Srinagar resident Inayat Ahmad son of Abdul Ahad of Saraf Kadal Nowhetta Srinagar who forced a non-local Sandeep, his domestic help, to convert to Islam.
The J&K Waqf Board acted against the cleric Kamal-ud-din Farooqui and relieved him, from the duties of Imaam-o- Khateeb, Aasar-e-Shareef, Hazratbal till completion of the enquiry.
The Waqf said there were allegations that Farooqui presided over forcible conversion during Friday prayers.

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In view of the allegations, an emergency meeting was convened at the Central Waqf office yesterday to discuss the incident and determine the future course of action.
The order of the Waqf Board read: “During the meeting, all leading Imaam-o-Khateebs of the Board unanimously concluded that this incident has caused confusion and chaos among the general public and has the potential to disturb public harmony. Additionally, it was noted that due process was not followed during the conversion, and that both Islamic law and government regulations were not followed.”
It was also agreed that a committee should be formed to inquire into the matter and Farooqui was removed from the position of Imam.
“Furthermore, they deemed it improper for Dr. Kamal-ud-din Farooqui to retain the position of Imaam-o-Khateeb until the conclusion of the inquiry. Accordingly, in light of this, sanction was accorded to the constitution of an Enquiry Committee,” the order read.
The inquiry committee will be headed by Syed Mohammad Hussain, Board Member, J&K Waqf Board and it will have two members Ghulam Nabi Haleem, Board Member, J&K Waqf Board and Mohammad Yaseen Khan, Imaam-o-Khateeb, Syed Karam Shah Sahib, Karan Nagar, Srinagar.
The Committee shall examine the matter and furnish the factual report within a period of seven days.