The National Chairman,
National Human Rights Commission,
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg,
New Delhi, PIN 110001.
Sub: Seeking for an Immediate Intervention and an impartial Inquiry by the NHRC into the Recent Unilateral Decisions of the Sharia Court in Kashmir Recommending to the Government Permanent Expulsion of 5 Respected and Innocent Christian Clergymen.
This is in continuation to our letter to the Hon’ble Commission dated 7th of November 2011, in which we had appealed to come to the rescue of Rev. C.M. Khanna, the Pastor in charge of All Saints Church in Srinagar, who was ordered to appear before the Grand Mufti of the Muslim sharia court in the Kashmir valley and whose life was in danger. We are sure you must have done the needful in the matter and saved Rev. Khanna’s life.
But now we are forced to approach you again on the similar Kashmir issue wherein again a serious development is taking place as 5 Christian clergymen are being recommended by the same sharia court to be expelled from the Jammu and Kashmir State permanently, supposedly for their attempts for “fraudulent conversion” of Muslims to Christianity. The whole thing seems to being orchestrated around the same old “explosive” subject of “fraudulent conversion” and being cunningly used against the five Christian clergymen as was done towards the end of last year to take revenge against the failure on the part of the Christian priest, Rev. C.M.Khanna, to get an admission to a Muslim student in one of the Christian schools in Srinagar as demanded by the Muslim clergyman, the Grand Mufti, the head of the sharia court in J&K.
The whole thing looks like a face-saving strategy by wrongly punishing the 5 Christian clergymen, cunningly and shrewdly maintaining that the decree of the Sharia court is not against the Christians in any manner, but “the Shariah Court had found the Pastor CM Khanna, Gayoor Massi, Chandra Kanta, Chandra and Pastor Jim Borst “guilty of spreading immorality and luring Muslims, especially young boys and girls, to Christianity by exploiting their poverty,” as told by Nasir-ul-Islam, deputy to Grand Mufti, Mufti Basheerudin, addressing a press conference. In all reality, it looks like the age-old saying – “Give the dog a bad name and hang it.” Unfortunately, this inhuman tragedy is slowly unfolding itself because the writ of this fundamental segment of the Muslim community in the valley runs large and wide in the whole valley as the ever deemed unquestionable support of a large number of unquestioning Muslims in the valley as well the use of the muscle power by a section among them is always taken for granted by them. We also find from the recent developments in valley that the grand mufti and his accomplices seem to have succeeded in their design to browbeat and threaten all those who do not toe their line of thinking in the valley. Their tentacles also seem to be steadily spreading wide without any restraint as they do not seem to care much for the government machinery and the articles as enjoined in the Constitution of India.
As mentioned earlier in our letter, our genuine apprehensions are that there is every possibility that this unilateral decision by the Mufti Azam and his sharia court can lead to the by now universally known “Fatwa,” ultimately leading to a situation of not only strained relations but perhaps even to a law and order situation in Kashmir and perhaps in the whole of India. What could be the possible consequences, if the religious heads of different religions in a secular country like India begin to issue the orders in the days ahead like the one issued by the Muslim clergyman in Srinagar, to the members of other religions throughout the length and breadth of India, for all sorts of reasons based on their own religious laws? Indeed, it is beyond our comprehension! If the religious heads are permitted to pass such orders, what becomes of the Indian law, civil as well as the criminal law? What becomes of our very constitution?