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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Gujarat police harassing innocent citizens: IRCG

Mohammad Shafi Madani and Mirza Afzal Baig, president and secretary of Islami Relief Committee Gujarat (IRCG) respectively, have described the illegal arrest of activists of IRCG by the state police as unjust and strongly condemned the action. They alleged that the state police is unnecessarily and constantly harassing the innocent citizens.

"In the recent past, respectable citizens of the society and other voluntary organisations have been facing numerous difficulties and problems posed by the communal minded officials of the administration and police. This was proving to be a great hindrance in the development of the society and building up of a conducive atmosphere so that harmony between peoples is brought about," the IRCG officials said.

"People associated with relief and rehabilitation work by voluntary organisations are always ready for rendering service to the common masses. It is because of their efforts only that people’s lives move smoothly and an atmosphere of communal unity and tolerance is created. We feel that people exploiting communal hatred and enmity for their own selfish interests do not like such efforts and that is why cases of harassment of innocent citizens by administrative authorities are reported every now and then," they argued.

An IRCG statement said that the former chief minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai Patel while appreciating relief and reconstruction activities had written a letter to the president of IRCG and expressed his thanks. Legislators of the present government also have praised IRCG’s work of creating an atmosphere of peace, harmony and tolerance in the state. In recent times the voluntary organisation had organised 15 programmes at intervals in the riot-hit areas. The programme of Eid Milan organised by non-governmental voluntary organisations in Juhapur area is of special significance.

The IRCG is performing educational and social services in the affected areas without any discrimination. In same way the lower courts including the Supreme Court are being approached for providing justice to the innocent people who have been falsely implicated in different criminal cases and also to get the guilty punished. Our such activities have also been taken due notice by print and electronic media. The main objective of our legal cell and non-governmental voluntary organisations as well as justice-loving citizens is to create an atmosphere of goodwill in the society and to render justice to people. 

Of the five young men recently arrested in Ahmedabad, two are legal cell workers one of whom is the son of Dr Shakeel Ahmad, an officer of our legal cell. A question obviously arises about the motive of the government and police in illegally arresting these innocent youths under POTA. The court has, however, rejected the demand of police for the remand of these innocent youths thereby putting question mark on the intentions of these protectors of law. Filing of false cases against innocent persons on one pretext or the other, starting a campaign of calumny and defaming Muslim inhabitants of Juhapura and Jamalpur and many such cases are topics which need a full-fledged discussion.

The IRCG has made an appeal to responsible persons of society, intellectuals and voluntary organisations to raise their strong voices of protest against illegal and coercive activities of police and violation of human rights.

MG News Desk

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