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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-30 November 2001

MPL Board demands action against VHP
New Delhi: Expressing his anger, Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasimi, President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board has demanded action against VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, SC Dixit, Parveen Tagadia, Giriraj Kishore and other Parishad activists who forced their entry in the disputed Babri Masjid land contrary to the court order. He said that their action was not only a joke with the law, but also a sinister plan worked out in view of the forthcoming UP elections. The purpose behind this step is to fan anti-Muslim sentiments and create havoc, so that an atmosphere of Hindu-Muslim hatred is created and to draw benefits in the elections, he said. He requested Muslims to understand the conspiracy and not to be carried away by such actions, so that the BJP does not succeed in its hidden agenda.
Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi also expressed deep anguish on the unfavourable current situations of the country and the mischiefs of communal forces which have led to violent incidents. The Qazi has expressed anger over the carelessness and excess of the police in Maharashtra’s Malegaon and its outskirts. In his fax messages, the Qazi has told various politicians including Maharashtra Chief Minister, Congress President, former Chief Minister AR Antulay etc, to take necessary steps against guilty police officers and district administrators.

Corruption in Waqf Board
Ambala: Punjab Waqf Board high command has sacked a senior corrupt officer. Complaints against the offender were being received intermittently for the last six years. Jameelur Rahaman, President of Malerkotla Muslim Welfare Samiti had also made complaint against the officer, which was followed by CBI raid on the offender’s house. The officer was appointed 30 years ago on a 5-rupee-day salary. Today he owns millions of rupees along with land properties both registered and unregistered. The officer has also lived in Ludhiana and is accused of black-marketing there. It should be noted that earlier two other employees had been sacked in this connection. People are happy over the campaign against corruption.

Okhla councillor to be disqualified
New Delhi: Independent Municipal Councillor Asif Muhammad Khan may be disqualified for Municipal Council by the Code of Conduct Committee of special Municipal councillor of Delhi Municipal Corporation. Committee President Dharam Parkash told newspersons that the issue of Asif Muhammad Khan would be raised in the next meeting of the Committee, in which recommendations would be made to disqualify him for his illegal and anti-national activities. It should be noted that the councillor had pasted posters of Osama bin Laden, for which he is till now languishing in jail (As a fact those posters carried nothing objectionable). The Committee President said that ample proofs have been collected against the councillor and that there is information for his having links with various organizations. If he is disqualified, he will never be able to stand for election which would put a question mark on the political future of the councillor.
Meanwhile a Delhi session court had once again rejected the bail application of the councillor for the third time as per the argument of a government advocate that the councillor is a member of the recently banned organization Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) besides having hand in various other illegal activities.

Urdu schools upgraded in AP
The Andhra Pradesh government has sanctioned 1293 new posts of teachers in government Urdu medium schools, which have been recently upgraded. Of these, 701 are in Telangana districts. The total number of vacant posts notified in Urdu medium schools in DSC 2001 are 1633. The total number of Urdu primary schools upgraded into upper primary is 72. Maximum number is in Telangana, with Hyderabad having - 13. The number of Urdu primary schools sanctioned during 2001-2002 is 1047, with one SGT post each.

New embarkation points for Hajis
New Delhi: The Centre has decided not to hire planes to carry the 70,000-strong contingent for the next Haj beginning in February, and instead use the aircraft of Air-India and Indian Airlines. The Indian Airlines will be flying the Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the first time. It will operate 30 flights from Srinagar and 20 from Hyderabad. While talking to media persons, civil aviation minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said that the government has also decided to make Srinagar, Lucknow and Kozhikode as new embarkation points for the next Haj in view of the large Muslim population living in and around these cities.

Infighting harms Urdu Academy
New Delhi: The fight between the newly elected vice chairman of Urdu Academy and its secretary has begun to harm the literary, educational and cultural affairs of Urdu Academy. Neeta Bali, Delhi Government Secretary for Arts and Culture in her letter to Urdu Academy has issued orders that the Academy should take prior permission of the Governing Council before incurring any expenses. Mansoor Usmani, Secretary of Urdu Academy while expressing anger on the government’s orders said that this will affect the work of Urdu Academy. While the newly elected Vice Chairman Altaf Azmi said that the secretary of the Academy himself is responsible for this, who is ignoring the Governing Council and the vice chairman and wants to act according to his own will.
The meeting of the Governing Council of Urdu Academy was held on 30 August 2001, when Mansoor Usmani was on transfer. The budget of the year was presented briefly. Neetabali was also present in that meeting. On 12 October, she wrote a letter to Mansoor Usmani asking him not to spend money without approval of the Council. She also told him to give his reply. When the secretary sent his reply to her, she again said that his reply was not satisfactory.
The Neeta Bali in her letter to Usmani said that according to the Academy’ rules, its budget must be approved by the Governing Council. But since the Council did not approve the budget, all the expenses incurred by the secretary, Usmani are rejected. The vice chairman said that the Council, before approving the budget, had asked for detailed break-up of the expenditure which was not done by the secretary. Hence the budget remained unapproved. Defying the Council and Delhi government secretary, Neeta Bali, the Academy Secretary Usmani said that despite her instructions not to effect expenditures without Governing Council’s approval, expenditures will have to be incurred otherwise Academy’s works like adult education, teachers salaries and many other programmes will suffer. The overall result of the fighting between the two officials is that the work of Urdu Academy will be seriously hampered unless things are sorted out.

One-sided police action
Moradabad: Muslims were angry when police did not allow them to offer namaz in Budhnagar Khandwa village of tahsil Chandusi in Moradabad. There is mixed Hindu-Muslim population in this village but there is no mosque. Villagers have been offering namaz on Faqira Pahalwan’s vacant land. Many times villagers came close to fight over the construction of a mosque there. In 1999, the villagers offered namaz on Faqira’s land, which led to the objection by the other community and caused tension. At that time police placed restrictions on performing namaz there. Later, in the month of Ramadan they again performed namaz there. This once again brought the two communities face to face. Meanwhile, Faqira died and people of the village bought the land for the construction of a mosque there. On 26 October 2001, the villagers decided to offer Jum’a prayers there. This came to the knowledge of the local secret police which has been keeping a tight vigil. In view of tension, police stopped Muslims from performing namaz there. This in turn led to the anger of the Muslim community. The trouble which started three years ago has still not been sorted out and has left a question mark on the performance of the police and district administration.

Two Hyderbadis detained
Hyderabad: A media report emanating from United States says that the FBI was looking into possible links between Mir Ayub Ali Khan and Muhammad Azmat Jawed of Hyderabad with the hijackers who carried out the attacks of 11 September. The report also said that the authorities were also looking for a possible link between the two and the anthrax outbreak after they found old American magazines with an article on biological weapon in their apartment in New Jersey. The media report based on an excerpt of a report from The Dulles Morning News, which was carried by a local newspaper has led their families in Hyderabad into deep shock. The duo had been reportedly seen with the hijackers in a mosque in Brooklyn in New York and at a general store. Ayub Ali Khan’s ailing mother collapsed on hearing about the new twist of the episode. His sister Fatima is worried about his safety and says, sobbing uncontrollably, that he is a very quiet and silent man. He might be under deep depression and will die under torture. The scene at Azmat Jawed’s house was no different where his father is suffering from a heart-ailment ever since his son was detained by the American authorities. The FBI team, which had come to Hyderabad, had told the families that they had not found any evidence of their involvement in the attacks and that they were held only for the violation of immigration laws. Fatima is afraid that they are being framed in baseless charges and asked as to how his brother would understand about those scientific things when he is not even a graduate. She insisted that her brother was innocent.

Police kills innocent Muslim youth
Meerut: In a heart-rending incident Meerut police shot dead an innocent Muslim youth in a fake encounter, which has revived the memory of Smita Bhaduri incident. The police shot Rafaqat Ali, a resident of Ijrara village, with volleys of bullets when he was going to attend a BSP meeting in Kharkhoda, situated on Meerut-Hapur road. According to police sources, the SO of Mandali police station in a wireless message had informed that in a Kharkhoda bound Maruti car there were many dangerous criminals. SO Mansingh Dagar of Kharkhoda police station reached there with other police force and stopped the car. The armed police personnel dragged Rafaqat out of the car. When Rafaqat could not suffer the beating and fled to the fields, the police with the help of the villagers surrounded him and shot him dead with AK 47. It may be recalled that in a similar case, the police had shot down Smita Bhaduri of Modipuram area. The police were shocked when people of the area protested against the murder of Rafaqat. When police came to know their fault, they left no stone unturned in forging as many as 26 false cases against Rafaqat. The investigations are going on.

Kanpur councillor killed
Kanpur: Waseem alias Pappu Katori, a Samajwadi Party member of Kanpur Municipal Corporation was shot dead near Iftikharabad colony on 23 October, the police said. Waseem was shot at by three pistol-wielding persons while he was going somewhere, sources said.

Ban Bajrang Dal
Jaipur: Rajasthan home minister Gulab Singh Shekhawat has said that the government of Rajasthan would prepare and send the records of communalism being spread by the Bajrang Dal to the central government. He added that the programmes such as ‘trishul diksha’ run by Bajrang Dal may be dangerous for the peace and harmony of the country. He further said that despite several requests by the state administration, the central government has not banned Bajrang Dal.

Call to boycott western goods
Jaipur: Rajasthan Muslims Forum organized a joint prayer against US attacks on Afghan people. More than 50,000 Muslims participated in the prayer and condemned the strikes on the innocent Afghan people. This was the first organized reaction from the community in the state. Several Muslim organizations took part in it. A resolution was passed and two copies of it were sent to the President and the Prime Minister of India. Habib Khan, a social worker, said that we Muslims share the grief of those killed on 11 September, but the way America is attacking innocent civilians, targeting mosques, hospitals and relief agencies, it seems that America is devastating Afghanistan in the name of terrorism. Convenor of the meeting Qari Moinuddin called people to boycott American products.

Boycott of American goods
Muzaffarnagar: Thousands of Muslims took to the streets protesting against American attacks on Afghanistan and goods manufactured by America and allied countries were set afire. This followed the fatwa of about 500 ulama of Deoband and other madrasas asking people to boycot American and British products. People were so excited that they even broke American and British-made television sets on roads. Mufti Zulfiqar Alli of the Imam Sanghthan, who was leading the procession, said while addressing the people, ‘We condemn US and British brutal attacks.’ He also said that people were acting upon the fatwa issued by the muftis in the entire country. Dr Jamaluddin Qasmi of Jamiat-ul-Ulama said that it is incumbent upon the peace-loving people of the entire world in general and upon Muslims in particular to condemn America which is promoting terrorism in the name of curbing it. Meanwhile a Coca Cola spokesman said that the sale of Coca Cola and Pepsi was badly affected in the city. He further said that they had returned two trucks of Coca Cola without unloading them.
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