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India Summons Aged and Ailing Kashmiri Religious Scholar for Interrogation

On 7th June, Maulana Rehmatullah Qasmi, the rector of the renowned Islamic seminary in Kashmir, known as Darul Uloom Raheemiya, was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India for interrogation. He visited the Agency’s office on the same day for the interrogation.

The summoning is part of India’s systematic crackdown on religious scholars in Kashmir. Many scholars continue to be under detention since September of last year. These scholars include prominent ones like Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi, Mushtaq Veeri, and Abdul Majeed Dar Al-Madni. One of the detainees, known as Nazir Ahmed Raina, suffers from partial paralysis. Other detainees include Faheem Mohammad Ramzan and Gazi Moin-ul-Islam Nadvi. Notably, the detainees belong to different Islamic schools of thought or religious groups, reflecting how India’s violence against Kashmiri Muslims is not limited to one sect but engulfs the entirety of the Muslim community.

The detentions serve to deprive the Kashmiri people of the leadership of these Muslim scholars at a time when India is ruled by a regime that is deeply Islamophobic. Kashmiri political analysts assert that by detaining the Muslim scholars and clerics, the Indian government seeks to obfuscate all influential voices that may express dissent against India’s unfolding settler-colonial policies. Kashmiri Muslims are being doubly persecuted for their religious identity as well as their demand for political self-determination.

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