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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-31 August 2001

Police force outside a Hubli mosque after recent communal violence

Maharashtra govt. rejects SIMI ban
Mumbai: Maharashtra’s Democratic Front government, while rejecting the demand of Shiv Sena and BJP to ban the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for its alleged anti-national activities, said in Legislative Council that such nationwide ban should better be imposed by the central government.
The opposition party accused the government for not being able to control the activities of SIMI in the State and walked out from the house.
Earlier, Mr. Chhaggan Bhujbal, Deputy CM and State Home Minister had said during the discussion over the rights in Pune recently that the state government has already demanded the central government to put a ban on this organization and is discussing with concerned officials.

Parties using Muslims as vote-bank
Najibabad: Muslims should know the importance of their vote, because no party can come to power without their vote. It is the need of the time that Muslims fight unanimously from one platform, president National Momin Ansar Conference Mr. Anis Vishal Ansari said while talking to newspersons. He further said that Muslims have been mistrusted since Independence by every party and they have been used as mere vote-bank. Whenever the question of their rights has been raised, they have been neglected and deceived with false hopes. Muslims can have their share in government as in Kerala if they come to one platform, he said.
He said that Muslims should be given reservation in government jobs. Even after 53 years of Independence some communal organizations doubt the loyalty of Muslims. It is the need of the time that Muslim youths gain their political position and come forward to provide leadership to the community, he added.

Assam Foreigners’ Act to stay
Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Mr. Tarun Gogoi assured Maulana As’ad Madani that the Foreigners’ Act will not be withdrawn. He assured Maulana As’ad Madani at Jamiat head office during his visit to him. The duo expressed their views over various national and political issues. The Maulana told the CM that Parafulla Kumar Mahanta’s government had written to Supreme Court that he wanted to withdraw the Act. The Maulana said that if the Act is withdrawn anybody could be suspected to be a foreigner and expelled out of the country. The CM told the Maulana that the Assam government will oppose the view of the former government by consulting with the Supreme Court. The CM said that his government will not allow anybody to be harassed with no reason. He said that if any such complaint is received, he will immediately order an inquiry.
IMDT Act (Illegal Migrants Determination by Tribunal Act 1983) was enforced by the efforts of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind. Lacs of people were exiled before the implementation of the Act. Only 2,200 people have been recognized as foreigners after the enforcement of this law.

Reddy apologizes to Muslims
Hyderabad: Dispute had arisen over the article written by Prof. Narasimha Reddy on the five pillars of Islam, which is included in B.A. second year’s book of sociology of Osmania University’s distance education course.
Since the book is included in distance education course, the article on the pillars of Islam did not come to the notice of general students and people. Urdu daily Rashtriya Sahara published a report under the title of ‘One more disgusting conspiracy to defame Islam’. After the article came to public notice Muslim ulama and leaders protested. Now Osmania University authorities have decided to obliterate the controversial portion of the article from the book. Prof. Narasimha Reddy said while expressing his sorrow, that the controversial part that has been published by mistake would be omitted.
The university authorities maintain that the article was included from some other book in haste. This is a grave mistake and would be rectified. Muslims felt satisfied over the decision issued by the university authorities. The ulama and mashaikh (saintly people) were also happy.

Five arrested for conversion
Varanasi: City police have taken five people under custody for their alleged involvement in conversion. The police said that the incident of conversion is being investigated.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists had complained to the police that the Christian missionaries have allegedly converted five Hindus to Christianity by bribing them. They have also accused that some youths from U.P. and Bihar were called there and were converted to Christianity by offering them jobs.

Orissa converts under pressure
Dalits in Orissa’s Kendrapara district who had converted to Christianity are now under pressure to reconvert to Hinduism.
‘The villagers are mounting pressure and have ostracized us. We don’t know which god will be our saviour,’ says Akshay Kumar Jena of Korua village, who along with 19 other Schedule Caste Hindus accepted Christianity. Santosh Malhotra, a youth leader of the village, said that a meeting had been called at the local college by villagers and Sangh Parivar elements to reconvert the 19 into Hinduism.
‘As Hindus we were never allowed inside temples in our village, even though we contributed more than others towards the temple. We could never see the gram devi (village deity) because we were Dalits. And now the villagers are treating us like dogs and have severed all social ties because we have become Christians,’ says a widow Mala Bewa, who along with her two sons, daughters-in-law and granddaughters have embraced Christianity.

Kashmir massacre is not Jihad
New Delhi: In the tea party hosted by Pakistan’s High Commissioner Ashraf Jahangir in honour of Pak President Pervez Musharraf Shahi Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari and Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had a wordy duel on the question of Kashmir. According to reliable sources Ali Shah Geelani told Syed Ahmad Bukhari that he should not interfere in the Kashmir issue. Whereupon Syed Ahmad Bukhari said that he should understand it well that the present generation of India cannot even imagine any more division of the country. He said that if Kashmir is at all a problem, 25 crore Muslims in India are a party to it and this problem cannot be solved without their opinion. He further said that the ongoing mass killing in Kashmir is not jihad. Shahi Imam asked Geelani as to how he can call the massacre of innocent Hindus in the valley as jihad. Maulana Bukhari said that he has always rigorously condemned the cruelty and injustice in Kashmir irrespective of who commits it and that in future also he will always raise his voice against the injustice and violence being heaped on Kashmiris.According to sources Geelani clearly said that he was talking only about 60 lac Kashmiris and that he wanted to see Kashmir being included in Pakistan.

Trial of police officer demanded
Muradabad: National general secretary of Samajwadi Party and Rajya Sabha member, Azam Khan said when a police officer starts using lathi and bullet and pelts stones at people and decides to kill the innocent, he should be sent to a lunatic asylum or put behind bars. Mr. Khan added that the Rampur SP Prem Parkash is an anti-Muslim officer. He accused him of the murder of four Muslim youths in an ‘encounter.’ He demanded his arrest in murder case.
He said Parkash has made a particular group of people of Rampur the target of his cruelty. Referring to an incident he said that the captain recently started a campaign against a particular group of people for checking vehicles. During that campaign he not only insulted some people in front of ladies, but beat them up as well.
He said it’s a matter of foolishness on the part of SP to walk around the road in filmi style and in civil dress armed with an AK-47. Giving him the title of a ‘mad officer’ Azam Khan said that the officer has been throwing stones at boys, which has been reported to higher officers. He accused the captain of murdering four youths in a police encounter and demanded that a case should be registered against him. Mrs. Anita Jain, president of the Rampur district Samajwadi Party (Ladies Cell) said a written report was given on the 15 June to register a case against the SP of Rampur for the encounter of two youths on 22 April, but no action has been taken so far. Mr. Khan said Samajwadi Party of Rampur has been continuously staging dharnas not for the transfer of the captain but for the change in the behaviour of police. Samajwadi Party will knock at the door of court for this incident, he added.

More force in W Bengal to curb ‘ISI’
Kolkata: West Bengal government has decided to raise new battalions to enhance the law and order machinery and to have a strict watch over ‘ISI’ activities. According to government sources, the decision was taken in a high level meeting presided over by the Chief Minister, Mr. Budha Dev Bhattacharya.
Sources said that the CM told the administration that they should not ignore the destructive activities of Kamtapuri Liberation Organisation (KLO), Peoples War Group (PWG) and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) thinking that their activities have suddenly stopped. The number of policemen in this state with a population of eight crore 20 lakh is 60,000, which according to experts is much less than its requirements seeing that the borders of this state joins Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
The centre has promised to send some more Border Security Force and it has agreed to the proposal of a special battalion to be deployed on the Indo-Nepal borders. Even then experts feel the need of strengthening the power of the state police force. Experts say there is a need of at least 50 BSF battalions to deploy on Bangladesh and adjacent frontiers due to the increase in ISI and other rebel groups’ activities, while the state has only 22 battalions of BSF.
To have a close watch over the activities of ISI at the Indo-Nepal border, which has become a centre of ISI activities, a special police force like Indo-Tibetan Border Police is required. Security force’s task has become tough, for the ISI is sponsoring the Maoists in Nepal and India. Backed by ISI, ULFA and KLO are active in North Bengal while PWG and MCC have spread their wings in South Bengal’s Midnapur, Bakora and Purulia districts.
According to sources, cases of dacoity, kidnap and murder are on the increase in addition to the ISI and other fanatical groups’ activities. Mr. MS Gill, the then Election Commissioner, during the recent assembly elections, had suggested the government to strengthen the state police force. Instead of using 3.03 rifles, the state government has planned to get assault rifles, 9mm pistols, modern communication systems and high speed vehicles.


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