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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-15 June 2002

‘Killing of a Muslim must’
New Delhi: Pandemonium broke out in Lok Sabha on 14 May when Prakash Ambedkar, an independent MP, raised the issue of late Veer Savarkar son’s speech in which he had spoken against Muslims, and had called upon every ‘pious’ Hindu to kill at least one Muslim in his lifetime. Ruling party members created an uproar during zero hour on Prakash Ambedkar’s revelations. Mr Ambedkar alleged that during one of the recent Pune meetings late Veer Savarkar’s son said, "Every ‘pious’ Hindu must kill at least one Muslim in his lifetime." Veer Savarkar’s son is an important functionary of Hindu Mahasabha.

Dowry demand leads to ‘Talaq’
Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh): In a stunning incident having far-reaching implications on the Muslim society, a bridegroom divorced his newly-wed bride just after seven hours of solemnising ‘Nikah,’ when he was unable to get the stipulated dowry he had demanded. After solemnising of ‘Nikah’ and the completion of customary marriage feast, when the bridegroom failed to locate the refrigerator, colour television, almirah and motorcycle, he got enraged and immediately pronounced ‘Talaq’ to his newly-wed bride. The bridegroom then fled away on a motorcycle. Meanwhile, the bride’s family informed the police and district authorities, who have failed to take any action so far. The good news in this episode was that a young man volunteered and married the girl on the spot. 

Arrest Giriraj Kishore under POTA
New Delhi: Dr Sardar Khan, national General Secretary, All India Shia Sunni United Front (AISSUF), has demanded the arrest of Giriraj Kishore, VHP Vice-President, for asking Muslims to refrain from eating beef, and for handing over three ‘controversial’ mosques to Hindus. Dr Khan said that it is as if the criminal laws have been made only for Muslims, and that the Hindus can get away with any irresponsible and instigating statements whenever they like. He demanded that Giriraj Kishore should be booked under POTA for threatening Muslims with irresponsible statements and playing with their sentiments. He also said that so long as secular India is alive the formation of a Hindu Rashtra is impossible.

Protest against ban on ‘Azaan’
Srinagar: One person was injured in the firing by BSF personnel on 13 May during a protest demonstration at Safakadal where a ban on ‘Azaan’ (Muslim prayer call) through loudspeaker had been promulgated.
Government sources revealed that BSF commandos had ordered a ban on ‘Azaan’ through loudspeaker. The people organised a massive protest to denounce the BSF action. Getting enraged, the BSF personnel opened fire injuring one protester. Earlier, Chairman, Mohammadiya Masjid and another person were beaten by BSF personnel during ‘Fajr’ (Morning) prayer for violating the orders. Shops downed their shutters and bazaar was closed as a mark of protest.

Parliament approves Haj Bill
New Delhi: A new Haj Committee Bill would be replacing the 43-year-old law which was in vogue till now. The Rajya Sabha, in the current session of Parliament, has approved the new Haj Bill. The Haj Committee Bill 2002 was passed by Rajya Sabha on 8 May by a voice vote. Lok Sabha also passed the Bill on 16 May after the Government assured of continuance of subsidies to Haj pilgrims and steps against misuse of funds. Significantly, the new bill seeks to define the authority of Central and State governments in Haj policy and management, restructure committees and attempt to ensure financial propriety. The Bill, however, does not pertain to subsidies, flights or the arrangement of pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah, while presenting the Bill, briefly referred to a debate within the Muslim community on the whole issue of government subsidy for Haj pilgrims. Rather making it clear, Abdullah said that he did not want to get into the issue of whether subsidies were good or bad. "Since a Muslim has to be "able" to perform haj, and that includes the financial aspect, does subsidising a pilgrimage go against the tenets of Islam?" Abdullah asked.


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