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Arrest of Mufti Asrar seen as part of a plan

Is there an effort to ‘prove’ madrasas’ and Muslims’ complicity in anti-national activities? S Ubaidur Rahman tries to find it out in Saharanpur

The unprecedented massacre of Muslims in Gujarat and tension all over the country has eclipsed other incidents in the country. But there are plans underneath to do Gujarat in other places too by inciting communal frenzy.

Saharanpur, in Western Uttar Pradesh is one city that just needs a spark to turn things for worse. Not much different from Meerut, that has a long history of communal violence where every riot is used to target Muslims and their business, it has luckily been able to avoid any such eventuality so far. But there are indications enough to prove that things may not remain same for long. And the surcharged atmosphere is adding to people’s anxieties. 

Over the last two months, the city has witnessed incidents when mosques were targeted. Madrasas were attacked by using bombs. And to add insult to injury people from Muslim community have been rounded up by police with no substantial evidence in all these incidents. 

A powerful bomb was set off in Khan Alampura mosque on 11 February. The bomb that exploded very early in the morning while fajr prayers were in progress injured two people. Mufti Asrar a teacher of fiqh in Mazahir Uloom was arrested from his residence in the outskirts of the city. The same day two bombs exploded in another madrasa, Madrasa Imdadul Uloom some distance away from the city. It is not the only thing. Madrasas and mosques are frequently finding provocative pamphlets thrown in their campuses. 

Not a single person has been arrested in these cases. Instead, there seems to be an effort to malign Muslims’ name in all these incidents. Several persons have been arrested in such other cases. And all belong to the community. 

But in the face of all these provocative incidents Muslims have not lost their cool. Maulana Salman, the rector of a leading madrasa, Mazahir Uloom, where Mufti Asrar, who was arrested for being hand in gloves with the ISI and anti-national elements used to teach, when asked about Maulana Asrar, says, he was teaching for more than ten years in the madrasa and we saw him totally devoted to his job. He says that Mufti Asrar was a brilliant teacher. No other person in the madrasa is ready to buy the police version that he was a pawn in the hands of anti-national elements. Continued

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