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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-15 October 2000

RIOT ROCKS AAKOT
Aakot (Maharashtra): Riot broke out on 12 September in the city on the occasion of immersion of Ganesha idol. An elderly person was killed and more than sixty people were injured in rioting and arson.
As per the news-reports when the procession of Ganesha Visarjan (immersion of Ganesha idol) was passing through the Shaukat Ali Road and Jama Masjid, some people from the procession threw red colour on the Jama Masjid. It was immediately reported to the police, but the police told them to be patient. People from a peace committee calmed the rousing tempers. During the night some anti social elements stoned the mosque and attacked Muslims. It is reported that instead of arresting culprits, the police started arresting innocent Muslims. Reportedly it has already arrested more than hundred Muslims. Eye-witnesses say that the riot was well-planned in advance. They claim that it was hatched by a few political leaders with active help of the local police.


MUSLIM WOMEN’S PETITION
New Delhi: In a petition to President KR Narayanan, the Muslim Women’s Forum has pleaded that their miseries be addressed urgently. ‘We are a group of concerned Muslim Women who have felt over the years that our voices have not been heard in the matters intimately concerned with our lives and destinies and these matters have been decided without our participation,’ says the petition.
The petition adds that very little effort has been made by the successive governments to address the problem. ‘the only law that was made after independence, ostensibly to uphold the Islamic law of divorce and maintenance, i.e., the Act of 1986, regrettably fell acutely short of extending truly Islamic rights to a destitute divorced Muslim woman.’
The Muslim Women (protection on rights on divorce) Act, 1986 has some glaring incongruities, according to the petition. For instance a husband is duty bound to provide maintenance to his children, born from his divorced wife, only for a period of two years after their birth, it points out. The petition says that confusion and lack of clarity has made the plight of Muslim women worse. Against this backdrop, the women’s forum met in New Delhi on 23 August and resolved to act as a pressure group to give Muslim women a voice.
Prominent among its members are Syeda Saiyadain Hameed and Karnataka governor’s wife Saeeda Khurshid Alam Khan. 


LITERACY CAMPAIGN
Meerut: Maulana Azad National Urdu University is organizing a one-day conference here on 20 December. Syed Hamid chancellor of the Jamia Hamdard is all set to grace the function as guest of honour and Prof. Jairajpuri, the vice chancellor of the University will preside over the function.
A press release of the University says that the conference is being organized to give new dimension to the University and to enlighten the people of the area regarding the education.
According to the release, the University had organized citizen’s awareness campaign in May this year in almost 18 districts of UP and it proved a big success. It says that keeping in view the success of education awareness programme the University is organizing this conference in Meerut. 


MAZHARI TO CHECK NMFC CORRUPTION
Saharanpur: Chairman of the National Minority Finance Corporation Qari Muhammad Mian Mazhari has assured that he will do every bit to make the corporation corruption free, he was referring to news reports in a newspaper which had reported certain malpractices in the functioning of the Corporation.
He assured this in a function in Saharanpur while distributing cheques of loans to 75 people. A large number of people who had to receive the cheques could not reach the venue where the programme was organized.
He said that he has written a letter to state office-bearers and has asked them to clarify regarding the financial malpractice. He also said that it is corporation’s duty to provide financial assistance to minorities.


DON’T NEGLECT URDU
Lucknow: A delegation of Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Urdu met the state chief secretary and presented a memorandum to him. The delegation also met a senior officer Madhu Saudan Rai in his office and discussed the change of curricula in middle and primary classes. The delegation regretted that the government which has sent a circular to every school giving guidelines regarding all the subjects, but this circular does not contain any guidelines regarding Urdu. The delegation has also said that the state government has so far not clarified as to which books should be taught in Urdu. The government should clarify by 15 September that whether they should study old books or new books will be named. The delegation also asked the government to provide course books of Urdu from standard 1 to 12 by 15 September so to save the future of these students. The delegation asked the government to fill the vacant posts of Urdu teachers immediately.


RUDDERLESS RAZA LIBRARY
Rampur: the board meeting of Rampur Raza Library, one of the most famous libraries in the country, was held on 6 September. The governor of Uttar Pradesh , Mr Suraj Bhan, presided over the meeting.
The governor pooh-poohed the allegations of a member against the OSD Waqarul Hasan Siddiqi by reciting a couplet in Persian. When a member enquired as to when the new director will be appointed for the library, the governor asked if he was not satisfied by the functioning of the OSD. The member replied that they are satisfied. Waqarul Hasan Siddiqi is credited with increasing the grant of the library to Rs. 14 million from a mere Rs. .8 million.
The governor told members that the director will be appointed soon. He appreciated the functioning of the OSD and said that he has done an excellent job by erecting boundary wall on the library land. The governor also released the catalogue of Persian manuscripts and the history of the War of Independence of 1857. 


NO GRANT FOR MADRASAS
Gorakhpur: The UP government has suspended all schemes for the benefit of Arabic madrasas and minorities. There are 317 madrasas which receive grants from the government and another 500 which are recognized by the state government, where students are studying up-to the level of Tahtania, Fauqania, Alia, Molvi, Munshi and Kamil.
The government’s negligence towards these madrasas could be gauged from the fact that the post of registrar of Arabic and Persian is lying vacant since 1996, and it has not given any heed to demands to appoint the registrar. Due to non-existence of any registrar the work of scheduling of examination and result announcement has become paralyzed. Eight months of year 2000 have passed but the government has not conducted the examination of Molvi, Munshi and Kamil of year 1999. In the same way the students who appeared for examinations in 1997 and 1998 have not provided mark-sheets so far. The Arabic and Persian Board has also not distributed the certificate to the successful candidates since 1992.
The UP government has established a minority welfare department to oversee several schemes for the development of minorities in the state. It had to see the distribution of scholarship to minority students, to distribute grants for salaries to madrasas and also to oversee the different schemes of central government for the minorities. Under central government’s scheme it was proposed to construct girls hostels in backward minority areas, modernization of madrasa, computer training in madrasas and to set up mini ITI centres in minority dominated areas. But all these schemes have been shelved. The government had announced to give pension to teachers in madrasas but it has not been implemented even after eight long years. When Minority Welfare Department was established in 1995, every year Rs.1.5 million is marked for pension to madrasa teachers but it has not been given to a single teacher so far.


LEFT TURNS RIGHT
Patna: About a dozen lives were lost at Narkopi village of Ranchi district of south Bihar in a class war having communal overtones. The activists of the outlawed Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) attacked the village market on 13 September and killed seven Muslims. according to reports the attackers indulged in selective killing only after identifying them. It is reported that they came in search of the leader and activists of Ali Sena, the peasant organization formed to combat the MCC. However, it could not yet be known whether they managed to eliminate its leaders or killed innocent Muslims only.
Muslims quickly retaliated. Once the attackers fled, they organized themselves and gave a hot chase and killed three of the extremists. All of them were tribals. This not the first time when the MCC has targeted the Muslims in the area. Nine Muslims were killed in similar fashion by the MCC at Lota village in Palamu district.
What is strange is that though there are several ultra left outfits active in the area, it is only the MCC which is at loggerheads with the Muslims. The first such attack on Muslims by this outfit took place in jungles of Gaya district in 1989. Initially they targeted only landlords from Pathan, following which Sunlight Sena was formed.
In this process the MCC has lost the support of poor Muslims and has turned to be communal. After last year’s Lota carnage there were several news reports in newspapers regarding its close links with the RSS. Gradually this left out fit has turned right.


TRADERS PROTEST ARREST OF SIM MEMBER
Faizabad: Muslim traders downed their shutters agitating over the arrest of a member of Students Islamic Movement of India over his alleged involvement in a bomb blast in Sabarmati Express on 14 August. The bomb explosion had killed 10 passengers and damaged several coaches of the train. The shops were also kept closed for desecration of a mosque in the city.
President of the Babri Masjid Action Committee Muhammad Yunus Siddiqi said that police had arrested Aqil, a member of the SIMI from his shop but it posed as if he was arrested from Agra. Siddiqi also asked the President to set up an inquiry commission to look into the matter.


QUASH TADA CASES
Jaipur: Rajasthan Minority Commission has asked the state government to quash all cases of TADA and release all TADA detainees immediately. It also demanded the government to give it government recognition like other states.
In a meeting of the commission held on 12 September it asked the state government in a ten-point-resolution to make the Tabrewal Commission report public. Tabrewal Commission was set up to probe the 1989-90 Jaipur riots. It also demanded to act immediately to implement the report.
The meeting that was held under the chairmanship of its president Nizam Muhammad regretted that the State Minority Finance Corporation has not started its functioning thus far. The commission also said that if this corporation is made to work under Minority Commission or department of social welfare it could perform even better. The commission also asked the state government to set up a minority cell under state home ministry.


WAITING FOR A FACELIFT
Calcutta: The new executive committee of Mohammedan Sporting will have to do some magical tricks to drag the club out of the financial mess that previous secretary Mir Muhammad Omar had got it into in the last ten years.
With Omar now out of the way, having been sentenced to life imprisonment for abduction and murder, new secretary Salman Khurshid and president Kalimuddin Shams, the West Bengal food minister, can at least try to save the club from slow death had Omar been allowed to continue for some more years. 
The Mohammedan Sporting had been losing nearly Rs 3 million on an average every year. The club had 800 members 10 years ago, when Omar joined as secretary. Since then the number has fallen to less than 100. With nothing more than a few football victory awards and paltry membership fees, the club has earned just Rs. 5-6 million a year in the last seven years. This is against an expenditure of nearly Rs 3.5 million for football, cricket, hockey and administration. 


Urdu academy: En masse resignations
New Delhi: At least 17 members of the Urdu Academy have reportedly resigned to register their protest against the mis-governance and financial bunglings in the Academy by its secretary Mansoor Usmani.
The chief minister Shiela dixit who is also the chairman of the Academy has however not accepted the resignation of 17 members out of 24 members of the Academy. The members who resigned went to the chief minister’s office to apprise her of their complaints and grievances.
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