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Communal Violence bill soon

New Delhi: On March 18, the annual conference of the state minority commissions was held here. It was inaugurated by Salman Khursheed, minister of minority affairs. He said that a “very attractive’’ Bill to check communal violence was round the corner. Addressing the delegates and representatives from state minority commissions, he referred to the recent decision of NCMEI declaring Jamia Millia Islamia a minority institution to assure minorities how the government could bring about institutional change. He cautioned against cynicism raised every time by certain political circles whenever the government wants to take any step to secure minority rights.

Khursheed said: “Socio-economic backwardness of minorities particularly Muslims is a cause for discontent and disenchantment and makes them vulnerable to the baits of disgruntled and anti-social elements of the society. It is, therefore, crucial that discontent is transformed into hope and success.” He said that if both the central and state governments work in tandem it would be possible to uplift the minorities.

Distinguished filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt criticised the National Commission for Minorities for being timid and weak. Mohammad Nasim Siddiqi, chairman of the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission said that we want innocent Muslim youth be set free in the aftermath of Swami Aseemanand’s confession of being involved in Malegaon and other bomb blasts. It is very unfortunate that even after these confessions, they have not been freed. That is why we want the Union government to intervene in this matter.

Wajahat Habibullah, NCM chairman, promised to work with the government to ensure that people of Jammu and Kashmir benefit from the NCM and that state of J&K also gets its own state minorities commission.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 22

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