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Mushawarat statement
on Kanpur riots

Syed Shahabuddin, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat issued the following statement after visiting Kanpur on 1 April:

On 1 April 2001, a delegation of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) led by Syed Shahabuddin, president and including Maulana Mohammad A. Qayyum, general secretary, S.M. Hasnain Abidi and Navaid Hamid, secretaries, visited the riot-affected areas of Kanpur and discussed the situation with the local people as well as the commissioner and the district magistrate, Kanpur. The delegation also held a press conference at the Press Club, Kanpur.

The delegation expressed its satisfaction that normalcy had been restored in Kanpur and there was no tension among the people and that even during the disturbance there were very few instances of Hindu mobs attacking Muslim localities, or vice versa, and many more happy examples of Hindu citizens sheltering Muslim neighbours, and vice versa.

The delegation came to the conclusion that the disturbance was largely a case of police action against the Muslim community in collusion with the activists of the Bajrang Dal and was planned to achieve political purpose.

The delegation was informed by the administration that the PAC had been largely withdrawn from the Muslim localities and replaced by the RAF and that a detailed survey based on affidavits, had already been conducted to quantify the loss of life, limb and property.

The delegation came to know that excluding the ADM, 13 lives had been lost, of whom 11 were Muslims, practically all 100 shops and 3 houses which had been burnt and looted belonged to Muslims, and apart from the temple complex in Choubey-Gola, half a dozen Masjids including Masjid Takia Akbar Ali Shah in Chamanganj, had been damaged and burnt and looted in the presence of the police.

The delegation welcomed the assurance of the local authorities to provide full security for the Muharram processions and advised the local Muslim community to observe Muharram in the traditional manner. It also advised the local authorities that to reassure the Muslims, a joint appeal by eminent citizens of Kanpur be issued immediately.

The delegation was also informed that out of 150 arrested from the curfew bound areas, only 35 were still in custody of whom roughly 17 or 18 were Muslims including Mohammad Sulaiman, President of UP Unit of Indian National League. The delegation requested the administration that in view of the political stature of Mohammad Sulaiman, a member of the Markazi Majlis-e-Mushawarat, his case should be reviewed and at least his bail should not be opposed.

The AIMMM demands that the Government of UP should
1. Identify and prosecute the PAC and police personnel and units, which had looted shops and homes of Muslim citizens during the disturbances, and Masjid Takia Akbar Ali Shah, ransacked in its presence.
2. Immediately rebuild all damaged places of worship,
3. Immediately order a judicial Inquiry.
4. Immediately announce a compensation and rehabilitation package, on the basis of the survey already conducted by the local administration.

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