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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-15 July 2001

Jum’ah prayers in Srinager

Horror Revisited
Mumbai: Suleman Usman Bakery’s date with fear and police brutality is now more than eight years old. It was 9 January 1993 during the Mumbai riots , the day armed policemen barged into the 70-year old bakery at Muhammad Ali Road in south Mumbai and killed nine persons. Now that an FIR has been lodged against former Mumbai police commissioner RD Tyagi, who was then joint commissioner of police (crime) and who headed the special operations squad, in the case, the bakery’s proprietor hopes that somebody pays for the day bakers and oven hands were ‘mistaken’ for AK-47 wielding hoodlums.
The employees who escaped the police bullets that day quit never to return, says the 51-year old proprietor Abdus Sattar Sulaiman, 'woh Qayamat ka sama tha (that time was like doomsday). But the FIR filed against Tayagi and 16 others upholds the Srikrishna report on the Suleman Bakery firing, 'says Suleman. 'whoever is to blame for this mess will get punished now, either by law of the land or by the nature.
Suleman was at his house at the time of the shooting and had instructed his thirty-year old bakery manager Muhammad Shamshad Khanto not open the window to throw out the garbage since a curfew has been imposed. Shamshad was an extremely handsome young man. The SOS must have thought him a Kashmiri and shot him at point blank range. Five of the deceased were his employees, three were local youth and another the priest of the adjoining Chunabhatti mosque. Forty others were arrested on various imaginary charges. Where were the AK-47 we were supposed to have kept in the bakery? And if we were firing them where are the bullet marks? Asks Suleman. At the time of shooting Tayagi was Asst. commissioner of police and after the Shiv Sena-BJP government took over he was rewarded for his great act and was immediately made police commissioner.

Deoband: Jamia Tibbiya, Deoband has been given another extension of one year by Kanpur University. It has given something to cheer about to the desperate students and management of the Jamia. This is the only medical institution in the state that has been given affiliation by the state government.
Secretary of the Jamia, Dr. Shamim Ahmad Saeedi has expressed his gratitude to the governor of the state, state government and the chancellor of the University. He said that the Jamia is the only institute in the state that has been given affiliation by the state government.
Though the extension of the institute has been welcomed by the Jamia authorities it has also made it evident that how vulnerable is the condition of the student who are paying heavy donations for getting admission in such institutes.

Bangalore: Azim Premji’s Wipro has been placed among the top 100 IT companies in the world. Wipro occupies the 87th position. It is the only Indian company to be placed in such a league. Two other companies made it to the top 200 companies that include Infosys another Indian IT giant that has been placed at 102 and VSNL that has been ranked 143 in the ranking to be published in the forthcoming issue of an American business magazine Business Week. The ranking is based on the most recent annual sales and earnings. Wipro had a revenue of $ 662 million, growth in revenue of $ 26.5 million, return on equity 33.7 percent and profit of $137 million.
Last year when the Indian IT stocks spiralled, Premji was announced to have become the second richest person in the world only behind Microsoft’s Bill Gates. But after the bubble burst and the stock came in the reasonable limit, Premji was nowhere to be seen. But his company has retained its No. 1 position in the IT in the country.

New Delhi: The Central Government recently informed the Delhi High Court that the Army plans to vacate a portion of the Red Fort to facilitate the handing over of the area to the Archeological Survey of India.
Placing minutes of a high level meeting before a division bench comprising Chief Justice DK Jain. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KK Sud and standing counsel said it has been decided that the Army would vacate the rampart and wall quarters but continue to use the rampart for flag hoisting.
According to the minutes of the meeting, the Army has stated that once its own accommodation at Badarpur in the outskirts of the capital was ready, the red Fort area occupied by the Director General Quality Assurance (DGQA) would be vacated and handed over to the ASI.
The issue was brought before the court by the Society for protection of Heritage and Culture (SPHC) alleging that due to multiple control of the fort area, the historic monument was not being maintained properly and many illegal structures had been allowed to come up there. It is also asking the entire fort complex be declared as a protected monument.

New Delhi: In a unique display of camaraderie the former prime minister VP Singh, the Delhi chief minister Shiela Dixit, Delhi BJP president Mange Ram Garg shared a common platform while addressing a huge gathering on the occasion of the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) birth anniversary.
Speaking at the function organized in the Walled city area of the capital, VP Singh exhorted the august gathering to emulate the humanitarian service made by the Prophet. He said ‘Religion is the candle of the heart. This candle should be used to remove darkness and not to set house on fire.’
He also hinted that the demand for declaring the birth anniversary of the Prophet (pbuh) as a holiday has been pending since the time of Sardar Patel and remained unattended as the successive governments remained callous to it. This procession has a history of its own. Its organization started in the year 1978 by Haji Nawab Muhammad Taqui and every year he flagged off the procession.

Srinagar: An eleven member human rights delegation was recently on a fact finding mission to Kashmir. The members comprising several respected human rights organizations of the country arrived to study about human rights abuses in the cease-fire period and people’s opinion about the peace process initiated by the government of India.
The delegation comprised Dr B Ramula of Human Right’s Forum of AP, A Dashrath and D Sureshkumar of Andhara Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Shakeel of People’s Democratic Forum, Karnataka and other senior human rights activists in the country.
Led by Dr Balagopal, the team visited several villages in the valley and investigated about the human rights violations perpetuated allegedly by security forces during six months of cease-fire.
Dr Balagopal said while talking to the Jammu based Kashmir Times that most Kashmiris feel that the cease-fire was farce. He also noted that the cease-fire was effected only for one month and later on it was violated with impunity.
The team leader further said that they have observed that people are very much scared of Special Operation Group of J&K police. ‘When we came here a few years ago, the people were scared about Rashtriya Rifles, but the situation is totally different. Now the people are more scared of SOG than other forces operating in the valley’ he told the Jammu based newspaper.
On peace process, Dr balagopal said most of the people believe that the Kashmiris are natural party to this dispute and they should be involved in the process so that a just and meaningful solution is found to Kashmir tangle.
The team met several separatist leaders including APHC chief Abdul Ghani Bhat, a senior Hurriyet leader Abdul Ghani Lone.

Panaji: Goa's BJP government has been charged here with facilitating the Sangh Parivar's backdoor entry to possibly usurp rural primary education-on the ready made infrastructural foundation laid by the state.
The charge came after details surfaced that the government has handed over some fifty primary schools to non-educational private trusts and mahila mandals acting as fronts for Sangh Pariwar organizations.
After the government closed 53 rural mainly Marathi medium schools for want of students it has slowly dawned on educationists that the schools were being handed over since February 2001 to registered societies to run them without grants in aid from the government. Thirty more schools with less than 12 students will be closed down.
None of these were openly advertised and questions are being asked about how only certain trusts got to know of the decision.

New Delhi: Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri mosque, Mufti Mukarram has expressed unhappiness at the bad and unsatisfactory performance of Delhi's Urdu medium schools in CBSE examinations for Xth and X11th classes. The Maulana urged parents to co-operate with Urdu school management if they really want to pull their children out of educational backwardness. He asked school managements to assess themselves and make necessary changes. The imam said that Muslim students in general and urdu medium students in particular have been lagging behind in education which was a cause for great concern. 'Without progress in education I don't see any hope of our children's advancement in other fields' the Maulana said.

Ahmadabad: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad stalled the funeral procession and burial of a Christian in Kaparwanj town of Khera in Central Gujarat. The body of Dudbhai Lazarus Solanki was to be buried at the Kapadwanj Christian cemetery saying the land originally belonged to Hindus.
When the Christians attempted to go ahead with the funeral the VHP activists in Kapadwanj went berserk. The police used over 10 tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the unruly members of the VHP and others who had gathered to prevent the Christians from moving ahead with the funeral procession. A police complaint has also been registered against the activists. The Christians had to call off the funeral procession and for safety purpose had to put the body in police station.
‘After thirty hours of Daudbhai’s death, we have been prevented from giving him a burial. The body has started decomposing and we are going to get it to Ahmedabad, which is over seventy kilometers away for the last rites. But it is extremely unfortunate and we condemn the VHP action’ All India Christian Council executive member told the media person the next day of the incident.
Kapadwanj Christian cemetery has been engulfed in controversy since 1998, when a local Hindu community dug up the body of a Christian man buried the previous day. It was backed by the VHP claiming it to be Hindu land. ‘The land has been ours but there has been an encroachment. The case is pending in Gujarat high court. The court gave an interim order stating that the Christians should be given police protection and can go ahead with their burial until further orders. However the VHP action of stopping us amounts to contempt of court, a Christian functionary said.

Bihar: The reservation politics took a new turn in divided Bihar when a minister in Rabri Devi government and former minister of state for home Muhammad Taslimuddin demanded ten percent reservation for Muslims and Dalit Muslims.
The Bihar government had made changes in quota system for SCs, STs and OBCs after the carving out of Jharkhand from Bihar. But the government did not announce anything for Muslims during the drastic step it took for the reservation of the OBCs. The government had reduced the reservation for tribals from ten percent to one percent after the division of the state as most of the tribal areas had gone to Jharkhand. The ruling RJD party had announced in its election manifesto to provide ten percent reservation for Muslims in government jobs in the state.
Taslimuddin has said that Muslims, one of the most backward section in the state justifiably need ten percent reservations in the state. A memorandum has been sent in this regard after the state assembly accepted the resolution in this regard long ago. He said that at a time when the government is taking a new look at the reservations for different castes it is a golden opportunity to fulfill his promise in this regard.


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