Kashmir valley-based Muslim religious organization Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith (JAH) --- whose leader Moulvi Showkat Shah was assassinated in a bomb attack by suspected militants last year --- on Monday hit the streets in Srinagar demanding a trans-world Muslim university.
“We demand that the bill on the Trans-World Muslim University be passed in the ongoing assembly session. In case the government fails to do so, many students’ federations and religious bodies will join us in our street demonstrations in near future,” warned JAH chief Ghulam Rasool Malik, who succeeded Mouli Showkat after he his was assassinated last year outside a mosque in Srinagar.
Malik led a group of protesters on Monday in Srinagar in his march from Barbarshah to Press Enclave.
“Shah sahib fought for the university all his life. It was his dream project. He had to meet the state governor in 2010 to set up the university, meant for betterment of students of all communities. The meeting led to the accusations of him being an agent. I suspect Shah was killed because some people were opposed to the idea of the university, as they feel threatened by it,” Malik told the Hindustan Times.
In 2010, a bill on Trans-World Muslim University was passed in the state assembly in Srinagar. After opposition from the Congress party, the bill was send to a 10-member select committee for a thorough study.
“Though the cabinet accepted the amendments recommended by the select committee. Later the bill was forwarded to a joint select committee of lower house and upper house. Till date no members from the upper house has been announced,” said Malik.
The religious organization accuses the state administration of “double standards and partiality”.
“Mata Vaishno Devi University was set up in Jammu without any bill. It was the governor who passed an ordinance to start it. Our university move is being stalled on the other hand. Is this secularism and democracy?” said Malik.
Malik accused J-K Pradesh Congress Committee chief Saifuddin Soz of sabotaging the JAH move. “It was Soz who issued a party whip against the university. He also convinced people in Delhi that this university will only produce militants,” said Malik adding, “this university will not be Muslim exclusive but all can study here irrespective of colour, caste, creed or religion.”
The JAH chief said his group will not oppose any other minority university bills like Sheikh-ul-Alam university and Khalsa University for Sikhs. “Let all candles lip up society with knowledge,” he said.