Kash­mir cleric re­moved from post over ob­scene video clip

The Asian Age - - Nation - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Prom­i­nent cleric and sep­a­ratist leader Qazi Yasir Ahmed has been re­moved as mir­waiz ( chief cleric) of south Kash­mir as well as the head of a re­li­gious or­gan­i­sa­tion af­ter a video show­ing him mas­tur­bat­ing dur­ing a video phone call with an un­named fe­male fol­lower went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia.

Ini­tially, his fam­ily had re­jected the video as fake and al­leged that it has been fab­ri­cated to de­fame the young cleric- cumpoliti­cian and tar­nish the im­age of the in­sti­tu­tions he is head­ing. But now Idar- e- Te­hqe­qaat Is­lami or Is­lamic Re­search In­sti­tute Kash­mir has re­moved Ahmed as the mir­waiz of south Kash­mir. In­ci­den­tally, the in­sti­tute is headed by his ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther Al­haj Sheikh Muham­mad Abdullah.

The video had led to cre­ation of memes by hun­dreds of the users of var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms par­tic­u­larly Face­book, caus­ing huge em­bar­rass­ment to en­tire Qazi fam­ily which is oth­er­wise held in high es­teem in Kash­mir par­tic­u­larly in south­ern parts of the Val­ley.

A res­i­dent of Anant­nag, 34- year- old Ahmed is the son of Qazi Nis­sar Ahmed bin Muham­mad, the cleric and politi­cian and then chief of Um­mateIs­lami, a so­cial- re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tion who was as­sas­si­nated by uniden­ti­fied gun­men at Dial­gam on the pe­riph­eries of Anant­nag town on June 19, 1994. F o l l o w i n g Se­niorAhmed’s mur­der, his el­der son took over both as mir­waiz of south Kash­mir as well as head of Um­mat- e- Is­lami. Fa­ther of two chil­dren, Qazi Yasir was also chair­man of Idar- e- Te­hge­qaat Is­lamic and chief spokesman of Mu­tahida Ulema- e- Ahle Sun­nah, an amal­gam of 47 re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions of Jammu and Kash­mir.

Ahmed’s grand­fa­ther Sheikh Abdullah said that if proved guilty he will also be “ex­pelled” from the fam­ily. “If at all these al­le­ga­tions are proved right, then his fam­ily has no as­so­ci­a­tion with him,” he says in a video mes­sage.

The fam­ily had ear­lier at a hur­riedly called press con­fer­ence al­leged that Ahmed’s im­age was be­ing tar­nished through “fake pro­pa­ganda.”

AP

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