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The religious freedom of Kashmiri Muslims faces fresh onslaught

On August 18th, the Jammu and Kashmir Wakf Board, an institute run by the Indian state through which it controls the Muslim shrines in Kashmir, announced that it will no longer allow donation system at these shrines, striking another blow at the autonomy of the religious life of the Kashmiri Muslim community. The Muslims of Kashmir would willingly offer donations to these shrines, giving these shrines considerable autonomy, and this went against India’s plans of achieving totalitarian and absolute control over Kashmiris’ relationship with religiosity. While the Indian state falsely claims that the donations were coerced out of the population and hence are banned, the truth is that the move is another instance of India’s drive to centralize power in Kashmir. The head of the Wakf board is a member of the Hindu right-wing nationalist party, Bharatiya Janata Party.[15]

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