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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-28 February 2001

HRD Minister MM Joshi with students after inauguarating the computer training centre at Madrasa Jamiatul Hasan in Allahabad, his home-town.

Coimbatore blasts accused freed 
Coimbatore: Twenty two persons accused of murdering a Hindu activist on 31 January, 1997 were acquitted by the additional session judge and chief judicial magistrate. 
   According to the case filed by the police, the accused had allegedly attacked the activist, Raghupathy, and two of his brothers on 31January during the communal riots that broke out following the murder of Jihad Committee leader Palani Baba in Pollachi on 28 January. The accused were charged for hacking Raghupathy to death. 
   Observing that the prosecution witness had failed to identify the accused clearly, the judge acquitted all the twenty two.

Quranic exhibition 
Hyderabad: A unique exhibition of rare collection of the copies of the holy Qur'an was held recently in Hyderabad. Some of the copies dated back to 9th and 10th centuries associated with several historical figures. 
   The exhibition featuring some 77 such rare and beautiful copies in different styles of Arabic calligraphy was inaugurated by Nawab Ehtesham Ali Khan, a member of the Museum board and descendant of Salar Jung III. The display included a 2.5 inch miniature Qur'an believed to be one of the smallest in the world. 
   Yet another Qur'an belonging to Aurangzeb and written in 1074 Hijri, a Qur'an written in gold letters and belonging to Shamsuddaulah and Sahab Begum, the Qur'an was gifted by Qutub Shahi king Abdullah Qutub Shah to his mother Hayat Bakshi Begum and the first translation of the Holy Qur'an in an Indian language done by Shah Waliullah also feature at the exhibition which continued till 14 January.
   The 77 magnificent pieces of Quranic art at the exhibition are only a small part of the massive and the only one of its kind of the collection of Qur'an left behind by Salar Jung III the prime minister of the Nizam of Hyderabad, along with vast collection of thousands of other objects d'art and rare antiques which are on display at the Salar Jung Museum. The museum has more than 350 rare copies of the Qur'an collected by Salar Jung from all over the world including the Arab countries, Europe and Asia. Apart from having Qur'an in different styles of calligraphy, the collection also includes translations and interpretations of the Qur'an in several languages of the world, the oldest of them being from the 9th century. 

Coimbatore blast convicted
Coimbatore: One of the accused in the Coimbatore serial blasts of 1998, has been convicted and sentenced by the court of the judicial magistrate No 3 to undergo one year rigorous imprisonment for using degrading and abusive language against two police personnel on duty.
   According to the police sources the accused Muhammad Basith (27) who had been brought under heavy police escort from the Selam central prison hurled abuse at Rajaram, inspector, Race Course Police Station who was present on the premises of the court of the Judicial magistrate No 5 on 5 November 1998.
   When this case came up for the hearing Basith who had again been brought under heavy police escort used derogatory language against Jagannathan an intelligence section head constable, who had been on duty at the premises.

Nizam's collection finally reaches Delhi
New Delhi: They incorporate the glitter of gold, the cutting edge of diamonds and have built up a bond which only gems can establish. There is something about these jewels which goes beyond shimmer and shine. Yes it is the famed jewelry collection of the Nizam of Hyderabad which we are talking about. Now here is the sparkling surprise of the season: the Nizam's jewels will soon be on display in Delhi.
   Currently under lock and key at the RBI strongroom in Mumbai, the famous jewels are all set to occupy centre-stage at the national Museum in the capital, where they will be exhibited in a highly fortified gallery.
   Incidentally these historic jewels were procured by the centre from the Nizam's Jewelry Trust in 1997 at a cost of Rs 218 crore. Encompassing 173 pieces the leading lights of this glittering ensemble include a 280 carat Jacob diamond, a set of 22 un-mounted emeralds, a 80-carat diamond, a necklace which is lined with as many as 100 emeralds and a 500- carat turban like ornament besides earrings, necklaces, pendants and rings which are worth much more than their weight in gold. 
   Rated as one of the most spectacular collections in the world the Nizam's jewels will be under the surveillance of the CISF, the Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police. For the National Museum the arrival of the jewels will mark the fruition of a long-drawn mission. 
   While the Nizam's jewel will occupy pride of the place, the National Museum promises to line up a host of other attractions. The Museum has recently resurrected 60 sculptures which had been lying in the Museum's basement since 1959.

No deterioration of Taj 
Agra: There is no deterioration of Taj Mahal due to air pollution but the sheen of marble is suppressed due to deposition of particular matter.
   In order to improve the environment around the Taj to protect the monument, government has taken a number of specific steps including the demarcation of a Taj trapezium zone, ban on use of furnace oil and diesel generators by industries within this zone and creation of a green belt around the Taj. The petroleum and natural gas ministry has also implemented a ten-point package program including of availability of LPG for all households in trapezium, intensification of environment management by Mathura Refinery with clean fuel being arranged and identification of alternative strategies for environment management in Asian Development Bank. Taj protection mission has also been launched containing various projects to improve the environment around the historic monuments. 

Historic treasures in Raza Library
Rampur: Raza Library has in its treasure among other things five hundred handwritten copies of the holy Qur'an. These copies of the holy Qur'an are calligraphed beautifully and belong to different periods beginning from the 1st century of Hijrah. 
   The people have not been able to take a look at these historical treasures kept in the library in this sleeping town. It was the first time in the history of the Library that these copies were exhibited to the common people. The Library organized the exhibition of these copies from 20-27 December and thousands and thousands of people came to see the exhibition. 
   The most historical of these pieces is one copy written by the great companion of the Prophet (pbuh) Hazrat Ali ibne Abu Talib in the first century Hijrah. The second very historical piece is written by Hazrat Zainul Abideen in the second century Hijrah. It is the oldest piece of Qur'an written on paper. There is another piece belonging to the 3rd century Hijrah by the renowned calligrapher and a prime minister in Abbasids period, Ibne Maqlasi. Another historic piece is a copy of the holy scripture written by Imam Musa Kazim in 4th century of Hijrah.
   There are copies beautifully calligraphed in every style be it Kufi, Naskh, Musallas Raihan, Taliq, Nastaliq and in innumerable other styles and belong to every period of the Islamic history. 

Ban on Al-Umma upheld
Chennai: A tribunal constituted under the Criminal Law (amendment) Act dismissed an appeal filed by the Al-Umma founder leader, SA Basha, challenging the ban imposed on the organization.
   Justice NK Jain who presided over the tribunal said the Tamil Nadu government notification dated 14 February 1998 declaring Al-Ummanh an unlawful association could not be interfered with.
   Going by the materials and the FIRs, there were 19 bomb blasts from 14 to 17 February 1998 which claimed 58 people and damaged property worth Rs 4.73 crore. The tribunal noted that following the murder of constable Selvraj by some people in Coimbatore in November 1997, 18 people were killed. It is blamed that the hardcore Al Ummah cadres exploited the photographs of their bodies turning the feelings of hurt into a precipitative cause for retaliation. This led to blasts, which rocked Coimbatore and its suburbs. From the FIR it was seen that Al-Ummah cadres maliciously and unlawfully set off blasts at 19 places in Coimbatore including the place where the Union Home Minister LK Advani was to address a rally. 
   The judge noted that Basha had admitted to four persons of his organization having been charge-sheeted. The contention that the cases were foisted could not be accepted. The materials placed before the court could not be ignored. Nor could the notification be quashed on the plea that there was no linking evidence.

Court order on imam salaries
New Delhi: The Supreme Court recently directed all the waqf boards in the country to file within eight weeks their response to the scheme proposed by the All India Imams Organization on the issue of payments of salaries to the imams as directed by the apex court in an earlier decided case.
   A bench of the court comprising Justice GB Patnaik and Justice BN Aggrawal gave this direction during the resumed hearing of an interlocutory application (IA) from the petitioner organization seeking the implementation of the Court's earlier decision in this regard.
   Earlier Mukul Rohtag additional solicitor general submitted that the central government had nothing to do with the scheme which had to be implemented by the waqf boards in the states concerned. The centre would however abide by the direction that might be issued by the court in this respect.

Muslim League's no to BJP's allies
Chennai: The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) sees no change in the ruling DMK's attitude towards the minorities in Tamil Nadu after the Dravidian party aligned with the BJP, but feels more positive steps are called for to restore the old bonhomie. 
   With the IUML's national leadership firmly drawing a line against having any truck with parties which have tied up with the communal BJP, the IUML state president KM Khader Mohideen has said that they had no option but to be away from the DMK. Mohideen who along with the IUML's state general secretary KA Abdul Wahab had a meeting with the DMK president at the latter's residence here said their only grievance against the DMK was its alliance with the BJP. While the IUML will continue to be with the TMC, it is said that the party had really no enemies in Tamil Nadu as it has a policy of equi-distance from every political party. 

Tableau reinvents Mirza Ghalib 
New Delhi: Mirza Ghalib, the legendary Urdu poet was remembered in this year's Republic Day parade. He was selected as the theme for Delhi government's Republic Day Tableau. 
   The theme was selected only after the expert committee responsible for approving themes rejected Delhi government's official favourite citizen-government partnership programs -Bhagidari. 
   The Delhi tableau was bigger compared to the last year. It used two trailers and a tractor. The main attraction was recreation of Mushaira at Diwan-e-Khas in the durbar of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Besides the king, himself a poet, other celebrities in attendance were Ghalib's contemporaries and the great Urdu poet of that time-Zauq, Momin, Alawi, Azurda, Aish, Nayyir, Shefta and Sehbai. For accompaniment the original Urdu couplets were inscribed which were composed by the poet. 
   The first part of tableau depicted an attractive 8-feet high statue of Ghalib in a sitting position. The statue made of glass is a copy of earlier paintings. The poet's costume was replete with zari and naqqashi work-copied in minute details. He was shown writing in a book, an inkpot, lantern, hooqah and a wine jar beside him. This was followed by the scene of a mushaira at Diwan-e-Khas. And the last scene of the tableau was a scene of the Walled City where the great poet lived. A double storey haveli of the period was reconstructed. While the ground floor depicted shops of handicrafts and utensils of that period, the second floor reflected the domestic life of the time.

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