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POTO: IUML flays Centre
By Arif Zain, Malappuram

Malappuram: The Indian Union Muslim League Kerala state committee has appealed to all section of society to voice strong opposition to the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) promulgated by the Central Government. A meeting held here on 27 October, under the chairmanship of IUML state president Syed Muhammad Ali Shihab Thangal, urged the government to reconsider the law since it would trigger apprehensions in the minds of the minorities. The IUML opined that the draconian law is bound to be misused. People have such experience in the past when the dreaded TADA was grossly misused.

In a resolution passed by the state committee, the party said the Ordinance would open new chapters of human right violations and denial of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The party said that the new law militated against established norms of justice since it armed the police with wide powers that could put innocent people in police custody without trial for three months. The party called for a joint fight against this harsh law.

The meeting also condemned the US attacks on Afghanistan. Terrorism is alien to Islam, as most of its victims are innocent and defenseless human beings. But the brutal mass killings of innocent people including a large number of women and children in Afghanistan under the guise of anti-terrorist operations is in no way a means to curb the menace posed by terrorism. The war waged against Afghanistan could not be justified since the US had not been able to fix responsibility on anyone for the attack in New York and Washington.

Another resolution passed by the state committee said that the intentions behind the special Ayodhya cell set up at the Prime Ministers Office were doubtful. The move, which coincided with the inflammable speeches and dubious statements that are being made by the Home Minister LK Advani, an ardent advocate and promoter of the so-called cultural nationalism, created fears in the minds of Muslims. The cell was created without consulting representatives of the Babri Masjid Action Committee.

The state committee has also decided to go to appeal against the High Court order restricting the use of loud speakers in the mosques to make prayer calls.

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