J&K lawyer to challenge Grand Mufti’s status

A human rights lawyer has decided to challenge the status of J&K's "official" Grand Mufti, Mufti Bashir-ud-din and his Supreme Court of Islamic Shariah.

"He is a self-appointed Grand Mufti and is running a parallel judicial system," said Parvez Imroz, Patron of J&K Coalition of Civil Society.

"How can there be a parallel judicial system. Enough is enough. We are challenging it in court."

Imroz said he was preparing the petition.

"It would be filed in a few days in the High Court. We are also making government a party because they are allowing him to run a parallel judicial system," he said.

"Last time, he issued a fatwa asking US nationals to leave the valley. If some political activist had given such a statement, he would have been booked under the Public Safety Act. But the government has never prosecuted him."

Imroz sees a conspiracy in the decrees issued by the Grand Mufti in recent times. "He is demonising the whole population by his decrees," he said. "He is doing it deliberately. We are convinced he has been employed to divert attention from main issues of political rights and human rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He has never spoken about human rights and the rapes or issued a decree in that regard."

Imroz's decision to challenge the Grand Mufti's authority comes soon after his fatwa forced an all girl rock band — which he called "the first step towards destruction" — to disband.

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