Communal Violence or Police-Muslim Clash, Muslims Wait for Justice
Urdu press roundup : 10 July 2006
By IndianMuslims.info Staff
Whether it is a communal violence or police-Muslim clash, or for that matter destruction of a place of worship, Indian Muslims stand at the receiving end, wait rather endlessly for justice, and wonder at the political corridors where policies are hatched sometimes to appease Muslims and at others to please the Hindu majority, thanks to the vote-bank politics of a democracy that India is. This is what we see in the close reading of Urdu newspapers of this week.
The entire Urdu vernacular press on July 5 covered the Union Home MinistryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s bid to build a Rs. 7-crore steel cordon round the make-shift temple standing as a symbol of Saffron aggression on the debris of Babri Masjid for over 13 years. The Ministry has sought permission from the Supreme Court of India.
On following days the Urdu press reported countrywide condemnation of this malicious move of the government. The Muslim leadership severely condemned it as an attempt to institutionalise the Saffron onslaught on the Muslim heritage in the country, and demanded from the Government not to go ahead with the move as it stands in violation of the Supreme CourtÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s direction to the Union Government to maintain status quo in Ayodhya.
The General Secretary All India Muslim Personal Law Board Muhammad Abdur Rahim Qureshi said people had not expected of the United Progressive Alliance Government, which claims to be secular, to take such a pro-Hindu rightwing step. He further said that in this case the Union Government holds the position of a mere supervisor till the final disposal of the Babri Masjid property title suit.
A member of the Board and Imam of Lucknow Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahli said the Union Government is thereby acting upon the RSS agenda. Another member of the Board as well as of the Babri Masjid Committee Advocate Zafaryab Jeelani said a steel cordon around the make-shift temple would be considered equal to a permanent structure.
The spokesman and Acting General Secretary Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind Abdul Hameed Noamani said the Union MinistryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s bid would lend support to communal forces. While its Secretary-General and member of the MinistryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Advisory Committee Maulana Mahmood Madani, in a telephonic communication with the press, said the move is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œunwanted,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? and is tantamount to lending permanency to the make-shift structure.
The Secretary-General Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Muhammad Jafar said the unlocking of Babri Masjid, its demolition, erecting a make-shift structure on its debris, and now providing steel protection for this structure, have all hurt the sentiments of Muslims and tarnished the image of the plural polity in the comity of nations.
Other leaders of the Muslim community in India, who expressed their grave concern on and condemned the GovernmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s move, include among others president All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat Syed Shahabuddin, General Secretary Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith Maualana Asghar Ali Imam Mehdi, General Secretary Markazi Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind Maulana Fuzail Ahmad Qasmi, president Milli Foundation Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, and Shahi Imam Masjid Fatehpuri Delhi Mufti Mukarram Ahmad.
In another development, as reported by the Hindustan Express on July 3, the Congress has charged Mulayam Singh Yadav of honouring the Saffron leaders accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The Congress leader Pramod Tiwari revealed that the Uttar Pradesh government is all set to honour the RSS and BJP leaders who had been leading the vandals who demolished the historic mosque on 6 December 1992 as Lok Tantrik Senani (pro-democracy fighters). He has called for a special session of the State Assembly wherein the Samajwadi Party leader should explain the matter and seek unconditional apology for this. Condemning the move, he said honouring RSS and BJP leader is disgrace to the freedom fighters.
Last week IndianMuslims.info demanded speedy justice delivery in Babri Masjid case. Almost in the same tone, the Rashtriya Sahara (July 6), in its editorial entitled ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSpeedy Justice to Riot Victims ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Need of the HourÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â?, underlined the need to make an amendment in the existing laws regarding criminal procedure in order to ensure speedy and full justice to the oppressed and rehabilitation of riot victims.
The paper lamented that about 68 commissions have been constituted to enquire into the communal flare-ups since Independence; but none of them completed its task within the specified period. To make its point home the paper refers to a recommendation of National Integration Council, which calls upon the Government to limit the period of a commission enquiring into a communal violence for not more than one year.
In yet another disquieting development for Indian Muslims, Bhiwandi, known as the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œManchester of MaharashtraÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? for its power loom industries, on July 5 witnessed a Gujarat-in-the-making when two persons were killed in indiscriminate police firing, two policemen were done to death by unknown persons, Windsor Patti police station was targeted and seven state transport buses were gutted. But the situation was saved from going to the Gujarat way, thanks to the concerted efforts made by peace-loving persons like SaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢eed Noori of Raza Academy and Abu Asim Azmi of Samajwadi Party.
The two victims of police firing were Malik Ahmed Abdul Khalique (50) and Asghar Ali (18). And the two policemen killed were Head Constable R.Y. Jagtap (Badge No. 933) and Constable B.R. Kangde (Badge No. 4220).
The police later detained over 100 Muslims for killing the cops, and filed cases for instigating violence against 2,500 Muslims of the city, where seven-lakh-strong Muslim majority still remembers the terrible experiences of 1970 and 1984 communal riots. But they have named only 15 accused, including president Raza Academy Shakeel Raza and the institutionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s member Ghulam Nabi Ansari, and declared the rest as unknown.
But why this clash between Muslims and police? The papers reported the police constructing a new police station on a Wakf land known as Panch Peer Graveyard, where lies the dargah of Hazrat Pach Peer. This plot of land is also surrounded by three famous mosques of the city. The Muslims have questioned the establishment of two police stations in one locality of Muslim concentration. The police however maintain that the land belongs to the government and has been under police possession for the last 70 years.
The BJP and Shiv Sena members in the Assembly criticised the Democratic Front government in the state for discouraging the police with an eye on minority votes. The Opposition leader in the Assembly Ram Das Kadam demanded stringent action against Samajwadi Party MP Abu Asim Azmi for instigating violence. He also called upon the government to expel Baba Siddiqui and Anis Ahmed from the State Cabinet and Nasim Ahmed Khan from the Assembly. BJP leader Gopi Nath Munde questioned the issuance of permission to Muslims to stage a protest march. While CPM leader Narsia Adam demanded a judicial enquiry into the incident and questioned the permission given to build a police station on a Wakf land.
A 7-member delegation of Ulema Council took stock of the situation, appealed to the Muslims to maintain peace at any cost, and called on the Police Commissioner Shivanandan and advised him to help maintain peace and exercise utmost patience and fortitude.
All Urdu newspapers covered all these details, the Inquilab more minutely, from July 5 when it was first reported till July 8.