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U.P. Minority commission faces flak
By Masood Hasan, Lucknow

The U.P. State Commission for Minorities which was reconstituted on 10 July 2000 with the sole intention of providing speedy justice to the members of the minority community, has come in for sharp criticism by none other than Muslims themselves. The reason for criticism was attributed to the absence of chairman in the office of the commission.

The state commission for minorities was reconstituted with the appointment of Mr Irshad Mirza as its chairman. But it has failed to deliver the desired results to the members as the new chairman seldom comes to office. He has no time to listen to the grievances of the people.

It may be recalled here that the Minority Commission was reconstituted after the General Secretary of the Loktantrik Congress Party (LCP), a major ally of the ruling BJP in the state, Mr Siraj Mehdi, MLC, had mounted a pressure on the then chief Minister, Mr Ram Prakash Gupta and threatened to snap ties if the commission was not reconstituted. It was restructured with the appointment of Mr. Mirza. The Minorities Commission was disbanded during the tenure of Mr. Kalyan Sing and his government had reduced its term from three years to one year. Pulls and pressures were built up on the BJP led Government in Uttar Pradesh for its reconstitution. But the State Commission for Minorities has failed to deliver the desired results because its chairman Mr. Mirza, a capitalist turned politician, has no time to come to office to solve the problems of the people. Mr. Irshad Mirza held first meeting on February 5,2001 after a gap of seven months. Now the Commission has completed its one year but about 12 or 13 meetings were held in the office.

The employees of the Commission told this correspondent that members of the minority community are knocking the doors of commission regularly who come from far flung areas of the state. But they return with disappointment by the absence of its chairman. The employees alleged that the Commission has drifted away from its point and the objective of the commission had petered out. The chairman should come to office and listen to the problems of the people, they alleged.

Three members had also been nominated on the panel of the Commission. They are Ms Renuka Dean, Sardar SP Singh and Muhammad Iftikhar Azam. But except Renuka Dean, other two members did not properly attend the office on the ground that if the chairman remains absent from the office what was need for us to come to office, an employee told this scribe.

Only five summons were issued to the authorities concerned in a span of one year. They had been directed to appear before the commission. Members of the Minority Community are dispatching their applications to the office and its office had confirmed that they get a bunch of applications. But efforts remain unfruitful in the absence of the chairman.
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