The NIA has sent notices to Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid and the Islamia School, both old Valley institutions of religion and education and both linked to the family of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The notices have been sent days after separatist leaders were questioned on alleged terror funding from Pakistan. The Mirwaiz presides over the Friday prayers at the mosque in Srinagar and the Islamia School was founded by his family over a century ago.
The NIA’s notices, asking for an appearance at its office in New Delhi, have been sent to Mohammad Hussain Khan, who manages the accounts of the Auqaf of Jamia Masjid, and Mohammad Ibraheem Shah, the general secretary of the Anjuman Nusrat-ul-Islam that runs the institution. The Mirwaiz has said the move was a sign of persecution by the state. “Now the NIA sends notice to #IslamiaSchool & JamaMasjid, exposes level of persecution State can go to against those it can’t defeat politically!” he tweeted.
“Both, the Anjuman Nusratul Islam and Auqaf Jamia Masjid, are apolitical educational and social organisations which have a great history of serving the people of the state selflessly for decades,” a Hurriyat statement said. “Subjecting its members to harassment and intimidation for the sole reason of being part of institutions headed by the Mirwaiz, to put pressure on the Mirwaiz is deplorable,” it added. The Hurriyat said although the NIA has an office in Srinagar, it has deliberately asked the Masjid and school officials to come to Delhi to “further harass and trouble them”.