Valley Shuts To Protest Maulana Killing9 April 2011
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Kashmir shut down on Saturday to protest the killing of Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees chief Maulana Showket Ahmad Shah. The two-day shutdown was called by both factions of the Hurriyat and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. Shops, schools, colleges and banks remained closed across the valley and traffic stayed off the roads. Security in and around Srinagar was beefed up. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited Shah’s residence and offered condolences to his family. “I am deeply pained over the killing of a noble person and a religious scholar,” Omar told the family. He termed Shah’s killing as a great loss to society. Separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani also visited Shah’s family. He termed the assasination as a barbaric and inhuman act of violence. Jamat-i-Islami and the Peoples Democratic Party also condemned the killing of Shah, a respected cleric who cited the Quran to oppose stone-pelting. In fact, Shah’s last post on Facebook criticised stone-pelters. “With great shock and pain... I have to say that some youth in our society are turning into self-styled judges, who are passing fatwas and judgments,” he wrote on March 30. “It is these few misguided men who are ruining society. May God show all of us the right path.” At a seminar last year, Shah had said: “Stone pelting can’t be justified. Islam is about discipline.... If the leaders are asking people to refrain from stone-pelting then they should adhere to these directions...” These comments invited criticism, with some stone-pelting groups active on social network sites threatening him to shut down his Facebook account. “Delete this page as soon as possible, or we stone-pelters will.... You call stone- pelting unislamic,” posted a self-proclaimed stone-thrower. After his assasination, however,Shah’s fan page on Facebook was swamped with condolence messages. “We are missing our Moulvi Sahib. May God bless his soul. Can’t believe he is no more,” said one of the posts.