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Published in the 16-30 Nov 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Muslim delegation meets PM

New Delhi: A delegation consisting of 11 Muslim organisations and individuals led by the president of Jamiatul Ulama-e Hind, Maulana Asad Madani, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26 October to apprise him of the problems and difficulties of Muslims. The PM assured the delegation that a Bill to prevent communal riots will soon be introduced in the cabinet and a committee will be set up to look into reservations to Muslims in employment.

Manmohan Singh with Prof. Tahir Mahmood to his right 
and Maulana Asad Madani to his left

After the meeting, Maulana Madani told media persons that according to the PM, the said bill would be presented in the cabinet’s next meeting itself. In addition to controlling and preventing communal riots there will also be provision for action against erring officers, as well as compensation for the riot-affected people.

Maulana Madani said that the PM informed the delegation that cases under POTA were being reviewed and after their review, relief would be provided to those arrested for non-serious cases. Dr Singh also assured the delegation that the UPA government would not abolish IMDT Act, relating to identification of illegal immigrants in Assam as intended by the former NDA government.
Leaders of the Muslim organisations complained to him that many organisations and even government departments had illegally occupied Awqaf lands and properties. The PM promised that the government would consider the demands of Muslims concerning Awqaf and will try to protect the Awqaf properties.

Maulana Madani said that Dr Singh told the delegation that a new ministry would be set up for looking after the affairs, progress and development of Muslims. He added that the PM has promised formation of a 5-member committee to consider the demands of Muslims which would liaison between PMO and Muslim organisations.

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