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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-30 June 2001

From letf: Dr Khalid Siddiqui, Dr Ziauddin Nadwi, Al-Hikmah chairman (standing), Maulana As’ad Israeli, Parvez Hashimi

Coimbatore case continues
Coimbatore : Nine persons were sentenced to life imprisonment by the special court for bomb blasts cases on 16 May on charges of conspiring and triggering the 3 December 1997 explosions at Udamalpet, which killed three women and injured four persons. Of the 12 accused Riyaz-ur-Rahman an explosives dealer from Mysore (Karnataka) turned approver. Another accused, Muhammad Dastagir was acquitted, while the Special Investigation Team was yet to apprehend Mujibur Rahman , one of the key witnesses of proscribed Al-Umma.
The explosions occurred on the heels of the communal riots in Coimbatore in November-December 1997, following the murder of a traffic constable, Selvaraj on 29 November 1997. The funeral of 18 Muslims killed was held late in the evening on 3 December.
In less than an hour, a bomb planted on a cycle exploded near the Udamalpet bus stand, killing three women and injuring four others besides causing damage to nearby shops and public property. The case was later on transferred to the Special Investigation Team of CB-CID, that was constituted to probe the 14 February 1998 blasts.
Dozens of Muslim youths are languishing in jails following the bomb blasts. It was during riots in Coimbatore an industrial town where a large number of Muslim business houses were specially targetted by the perpetrators of the riots started by alleged Hindu Munnani activists, a Sangh outfit.

Religious bill under implementation
Deoband: The local administration has ordered to stop the construction work in the hostels of Darul Uloom Deoband. It is alleged that the local administration stopped the work on the hostel in Darul Uloom acting on the UP religious Places Bill. The bill has not been sanctioned by the central government following the nationwide protests by the Muslims.
The local administration has come in for sharp criticism from all quarters. Voice principal of the Darul Uloom Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi while criticizing the local administration said that we respect the Constitution and judiciary and it was Darul Uloom Deoband that started the first movement for the freedom of the country from the colonial rule. He said that we will not tolerate if a corrupt official tries to play with the historical status of Darul Uloom.
The Maulana said that the government wants to illegally implement the UP Religious Places Bill in the state. He said that RBO Act 1958 can not be imposed on Darul Uloom Deoband, as the government has no right to interfere in the religious buildings. He said that even the British government did never interfere in the long history of the institution neither any government tried anything even after independence. Maulana also said that Darul Uloom never takes any assistance from the government and spends on its developmental projects itself so even the developmental charges can not be levied on Darul Uloom Deoband.

Fathima Beevi under attack
Chennai: Tamil Nadu governor Fathima Beevi is under sharp criticism from the BJP and its allies for swearing in of AIDMK supremo J Jayalalitha as TN chief minister.
BJP general secretary Narendra Modi told reported that this action is against all conventions which have been followed all these years. It looks as if she (Governor) has not obtained legal opinion before swearing in Jayallalitha, Modi said.
The criticism of not seeking legal advice by the Governor seems senseless as Fathima Beevi is her self a great legal luminary. She has served as chief justice in Madras High Court and was a supreme court judge.

BJP is Anti Muslims: Naqvi
New Delhi: The secretary of the BJP and a former union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi criticized the party’s policy towards minorities and refuted the party’s claim that it had no stakes in the Assembly elections that concluded last month in five state.
Naqvi who toured the states during the polls was of the opinion that the BJP had not yet been able to take minorities communities into confidence. He was of the opinion that the minority communities have to be taken into confidence and the BJP has to pay more attention to their problems, if it wanted to strengthen its base in the country.
While the BJP leaders were crying hoarse saying that the party had no stakes in the last elections, Naqvi felt that this type of approach was wrong.

Muslim youth killed in custody
Dehradun: The incident of a Muslim youth’s death in the police custody has not been solved yet. The opposition in this Himalayan state has put the government in the dock on the issue. Thousands of people led by a state Congress leader gheraoed the state assembly building in protest against the custodial death and violation of minorities in the newly carved state.
Mansoor a twenty-five year old youth from Ikkad Khurd village in the district was killed in dubious circumstances in the state capital. The police had detained Mansoor for a week and forced him so that he would divulge facts regarding the whereabouts of his brother-in-law who had eloped a Hindu girl in February.

Madrasas being lured by Azad Univ.
Hyderabad: The purpose of education is not merely to provide employment alone, its real purpose is to evolve a person into an honest man, widen his opinion and create leadership qualities in him. These thoughts were expressed in a meeting of heads of madrasas organized by Maulana Azad National Urdu University.
The workshop was inaugurated by the University Registrar, Prof. Muhammad Sulaiman Siddiqi who welcomed the guests and presented a report on the development of the university since its inception. Ulama of Hyderabad alone were invited in the workshop as a preparatory workshop. The university intends to organize such a workshop at the national level.
The registrar, while speaking in the workshop, said that the fundamental purpose of the madrasas will not be affected if students from these madrasas take admission in the Urdu university. He said that the Urdu University will never interfere in the syllabus of madrasas or their focus. He said that the university is preparing its syllabus according to its needs and is ensuring that it may not create any controversy on any issue.
The participants advised the organizers to consult ulama also on different topic. They also advised the officials to send the copies of admission announcements in madrasas so that the students there could be informed. Ulama also emphasized to charge the fee in two installments so that it may not prove a hindrance for poor students. They also said that the university should accept the alimiyah or fadeelah degrees of madrasas as equivalent to inter. Registrar assured that the university will recognize the courses of those madrasas that teach English of intermediate level in their syllabus.
Ulama from a number of local madrasas attended the workshop.

Christian protest in Gujarat
Ahmedabad: The All India Christian Council has accused the BJP government in Gujarat of functioning hand in glove with the communal elements to harass the minorities in Gujarat.
Citing the recent example of Bhavanipura village in Petlad Taluka of Kaira district, the AICC executive member Samson Christian claimed that Christian burial grounds were under attack from the communal elements in Kaira and Anand districts in central Gujarat during the last four years. and in most of the cases the police had refused to entertain complaints from the Christians or had acted against their interests.
In Bhavanipura village, he claimed that even after a particular plot of 40 hectares of land was earmarked as the burial ground for the Christians by the government officials concerned and the minority members started erecting a fence around it, the police arrested the Christian leaders on complaints from the Hindus that they were trespassing the land. The Hindu leaders had damaged many of the graves in the burial ground to take a road through cemetery but no action was taken by the police against them.
He said if situation continues without any improvement, the Christians would have no option but to stage protests against the BJP government in the state.

Controversy courts thespian
Nasik: Chief Judicial magistrate SV Deshpande has issued summon to actor and Rajya Sabha member Dilip Kumar alias Yusuf Khan and three others to appear in court on 14 June in connection with a criminal case initiated against them for 'land grabbing'.
The summons were issued in response to a complaint that the thespian had grabbed 19 acres of land belonging to freedom fighter late Shivram Khanderao Borate at Dudgaon village for Rs 3000.
According to advocate Dharmendra Chavan, lawyer of Borate's widow Meerabai, the actor had made provisional agreement in 1964 for the land and paid Rs 3000. But failed to fulfil the final agreement.
In 1975, in response to Borate's application, a court cancelled the provisional agreement. However, on the actors appeal in 1987, the session court gave a verdict in his favour. After Borate's death, Meerabai appealed against the ruling in Bombay High Court in 1996 which stayed the verdict. However Meerabai has alleged that Kumar had approached Talathi Sukdev Tajanpure and circle officer Ratnakar Shirsat and got the property registered in his name. He then transferred the land to his brother Ahsan Khan through power of attorney.

Saifullah committee survives
New Delhi: The Delhi government has extended the scope of Zafar Saifullah Committee set up to examine the issues of improving the surroundings of the Jama Masjid here including historical Meena Bazar and empowered it to draw up a holistic plan for the development of the area in an application for extending time for removal of all illegal constructions around the 17th century mosque built by the emperor Shahjahan, the Delhi Development Authority in its application told a division bench comprising Delhi High Court chief justice Arijit Passayat and Justice DK Jain that the committee had been asked to give its recommendations within three months.
Besides removal of hundreds of illegal constructions around the mosque, which the DDA counsel said was not possible without adequate police protection as it might lead to law and order problem, the committee had been asked to advise plan on redevelopment of the mosque's surrounding. 'Keeping in view the social, cultural and historical importance of the area, the committee is expected to give in three months its recommendation, which would form the basis for finalization of comprehensive plan for development of the area' the DDA said. The court however allowed the government two months time to clear all unauthorized constructions around the historical mosque.

Healthy Minds for Healthy Society
New Delhi: The Al-Hikmah Foundation, a Delhi-based organization that runs free clinics, library services and relief work among the poor, observed 8 May as the World Mental Health Day, with a seminar on the subject at the Constitution Club in the national capital. All over the world the World Health Day was celebrated as Mental Health Day as per a UN decision to highlight the condition of the mentally ill and raise awareness about their rights, besides promoting mental health.
The seminar began with a recitation from the holy Qur'an, and was formally inaugurated by the Delhi Government Transport Minister Parwez Hashmi. He observed that the upbringing of physically and morally healthy children was vital to building a healthy society. He advised parents to inculcate healthy moral values in their children to ensure that they would be able to create a healthy society in future.
The Director of Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Dr Khalid Siddiqui, emphasized the role of healthy social traditions in the growth of a healthy society. He also explained the role of Indian healing traditions in the service of society. He urged the government to work with the Al Hikmah, a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) in future social health projects.
Dr Farooq of the Himalaya Drugs was of the opinion that the feeling of contentment had to be cultivated to avoid unnecessary frustrations and unwanted emotional stress that has plagued society.
Kunwar Akhilesh Singh, MP, assured the gathering that he would table a private member’s bill in Parliament in the monsoon session seeking greater support of government for Indian healing systems.
Among the dignitaries who presented their views were Dr P.K. Sethi, Chairman Deptt. Of Neurology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, Professor of Psychology Dr Aruna Barota (Delhi University) and Prof. Tahir Mahmood, former chairman of Minority Commission. The learned Prof. Mahmood who chaired the second session, regaled the audience with his fine speech and words of al hikmah (wisdom).
Dr Ziauddin Nadvi, chairman of the Foundation, welcomed the guests and made brief introductory remarks about the organization. Dr Mehre Alam Khan compered the programme with remarkable competence, mixing wisdom with humour, well-crafted prose with exquisite poetry. The organization honoured its patrons, well-wishers and activists on the occasion, which was also its 11th annual programme. Among the people thus honoured were Dr Nafis Siddiqui, Mr Shahid Qureishi, Mr Salman Jafri, Mr Mursileen, Syed Shoaib Ahmad, Dr Saghir Ahmad, Dr Zafar Hasan, Mr Zaki Ahmad and Mr Masih Farooqui.

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