Who killed Maulana Shaukat Ahmed and why?
New Delhi, Apr. 10 (ANI): Maulana Shaukat Ahmed, the soft spoken 55-year-old chief of the Jamiat-e-Ahli-Hadees (JAH), has become yet another victim of terrorist violence in strife-torn Kashmir Valley.
His assassination has caused shock waves in the region.
The Maulana had been heading the JAH since 2004, when he was first elected President of the organisation, followed by three more tenures in this responsible position. His last election came in 2010. The Jamiat-e-Ahli-Hadees grew under his leadership and had about 15 lakh followers and more than 800 mosques spread across the valley.
The cleric was a man of conviction who did not hesitate in speaking his mind. His organisation advocated a puritanical concept of Islam which is at variance with the more moderate Sufi Islam that is predominant in the valley.
He held pro-freedom views, and yet, he was known to be very vocal against all forms of violence. He openly denounced stone pelting and other such disruptive activities as un-Islamic and went to the extent of issuing a fatwa against them. In the process, he earned the ire of the hardliners like Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
He had no qualms about engaging with the three interlocutors appointed by the Centre. Despite raised eyebrows from the separatist camp, he held several discussions with them. In short, the Maulana was a person who tread the righteousness path. It is possible that his liberalism and open thinking contributed to two earlier attempts on his life in 2007 and 2008, while the third one in 2011, was unfortunately successful.
Even though the valley has maintained calm in the face of this tragedy , conspiracy theories by certain segments of the leadership are flowing fast and furious.
Geelani has termed the incident as, "the handiwork of the anti-Kashmiri and anti-Islam elements". Nayeem Khan termed the killing as, "an act of enemies of the people of Kashmir who are hell-bent to divide the society and create a wedge among people". Moulana Abass Ansari also feels that this is a conspiracy to create a wedge between people to weaken the ongoing movement.
These leaders seem to be implying that the assassination was committed by some non-Kashmiri and non-Muslim entities. This effectively excludes Pakistan-sponsored terrorists and Kashmiri militants (who are mostly at the forefront in committing such atrocities) from the list of suspects.
Without saying as much, these leaders are trying to promote divisive propaganda and blatant rumour mongering.
Already certain intercepts from across the border indicate that the Lashkar-e-Taiba has been heard directing their cadres and some elements of the media to spread a rumour that the killing was the handiwork of some anti-Islamic group. The intercepts disclosed that a Lashkar-e-Toiba spokesman, based in POK, was suggesting to a Kashmiri journalist to spread the rumour that the Bajrang Dal triggered the blast that killed Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah.
If we look at capabilities and a possible motive for those on whom fingers are being pointed, we would come up with a different set of deductions altogether. Firstly, the anti-Islami groups do not have that kind of presence in the valley which would make it possible for them to carry out a high profile assassination of this nature.
Also, if they had an option of choosing a target, Maulana Shaukat Ahmed was an unlikely target. The security forces and government agencies are looking for ways to maintain peace in the valley in the summer.
Could there be a larger, more sinister design behind all this? Could Pakistan-sponsored terrorist groups be wanting to resurrect the failing morale of their cadres? Could it be the result of a rivalry involving ideological, religious or political differences or, just simply personal vendetta? Maybe the killers simply wanted to spread mayhem and the Maulana became a target and a victim.
Maulana Shaukat Ahmed was a good man. In the coming years he would have played a significant role in the resolution of the Kashmir imbroglio. He had the vision, the stature and the capability to emerge as a leader of prominence.
His unfortunate murder has been committed by someone who is an enemy of the people of Kashmir. It is most important to find out who the perpetrators were so that the real enemies stand exposed.
Both Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, who held the Maulana in great esteem, have resolved to flush out his killers.
In this case, political rivalries should be set aside and a joint effort be made to reach to the bottom of a senseless crime. It is also necessary to expose conspiracy theories which are brands of political opportunism.
The Maulana was the first to demand an inquiry into the killings of separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and Qazi Nissar and, it was as a follow up to his statements, that Hurriyat leaders Abdul Gani Bhat and Sajjad Lone openly said that these leaders had been killed by "our own men".
Now, is the time to bring the Maulana's killers to justice. y Jaibans Singh(ANI)
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