Anantnag: Ummat-e-Islami (UeI) chairman Qazi Ahmad Yasir is at the centre of a fresh scandal. After being accused of making illegal constructions over water bodies and defending fake faith healer Gulzar Peer, who was arrested on charges of raping minor girls, the Qazi now features in obscene pictures and videos that have gone viral on social media.
At least two pictures and two videos of the separatist leader from Anantnag have been doing rounds of social media for a few days now, evoking widespread public anger and outrage.
One of the videos is the recording of a video call in which the Qazi can be seen indulging in an objectionable act before the girl with whom he is talking. In the other video, Qazi can be seen popping a dozen pills into his mouth and gulping them down with water, over a video call with the same girl.
Qazi Yasir, apart from being the Chairman of UeI, also heads the religious seminary Idara-e-Tehqeeqaat (IeT), which runs under the umbrella of UeI.
Following the scandal, a video of Qazi’s maternal grandfather, Abdullah Shah, has been posted on a news portal run by the Qazi’s younger brother.
In the video, Abdullah Shah, “in capacity of the patron of Idara and on behalf of the family,” has announced that Qazi has been stripped of his “posts”.
“We are ashamed at the allegations levelled against him,” Shah says in the video. “He is being stripped of the posts until the veracity of the allegations is ascertained.”
Shah says that if the allegations are proved to be true, the Qazi will have nothing more to do with the family. “The Jama Masjid will continue to run under Idara, however,” Shah says.
The general public in Anantnag town is not satisfied with this decision. Kashmir Reader talked to many people who voiced concerns on the way the affair has been handled.
“How was Abdullah Shah made a patron overnight despite having no stakes in the Idara till now?” asked one local resident who is involved with running of the Jama Masjid.
He questioned whether Qazi has been stripped of the post of UeI chairman as well or not.
“He just said ‘posts’ in the video. What posts?” asked another resident.
Other people, mostly from Anantnag town, have taken to social media to criticize Qazi for his obscene acts.
Both UeI and IeT were founded by Qazi’s father, Qazi Nisar Ahmad, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in 1995.
The politico-religious organisation was run by Qazi’s uncle, Aman Qazi, till 2004, when Qazi returned from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) after completing his bachelor’s degree.
He was made “Mirwaiz” on his arrival. The following year Qazi joined People’s Conference (PC) and called it a “spiritual reunion” of his father and Sajjad Lone’s slain father, Abdul Gani Lone.
Sajjad Lone at a presser in Srinagar referred to Qazi Yasir as “Mirwaiz Kashmir” instead of “Mirwaiz South Kashmir”, and then denied that his referring to Qazi thus was an attempt to build a parallel institution of Mirwaiz (head priest) to challenge Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Qazi Yasir and Sajjad Lone parted ways after a brief association, however.
Qazi was accused of constructing a shopping complex, illegally, over a water body in main town Anantnag, during the latter part of the National Conference (NC)-Congress coalition government (2008-2014).
The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag at that time, Bashir Ahmad Khan, said that the construction was illegal.
“I had planned to demolish it but I got transferred from the place. When I was transferred back to head the district, the shopping complex was complete,” Khan said.
There have also been accusations that Qazi constructed another shopping complex on the same water body during the PDP-BJP coalition government.
A national news channel ran a story on the illegal constrictions made by Qazi but no action was taken.
Qazi was in the eye of another storm in May 2013, when the whole valley erupted in outrage after a fake faith healer, Gulzar Peer, was charged with rape of minor girls at his seminary in Budgam. Qazi created quite a ripple by saying that the arrest of Gulzar “might be a controversy.”
“I am not at all defending Gulzar but since the incident has maligned the image of all religious institutions, this could well be a conspiracy to keep our children away from religious institutions,” Qazi had said back then.
Qazi Yasir could not be contacted as he is under detention because of the ongoing municipal elections