The All-India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat has urged the central government to constitute a high level panel of retired judges, human rights activists, top lawyers and journalists to “to oversee the investigations into all terrorist acts” and added that security and intelligence agencies which rush to blame the community after each blast “have totally forfeited the confidence of the Muslim community.”
“The Muslim community has lost all trust in the neutrality and fair play of the government agencies probing terrorism-related incidents. Therefore, the MMM asks the central government to form a high powered neutral panel of retired judges, human rights activists, top lawyers and journalists to oversee the investigations into all terrorist acts. Such a neutral panel is needed to restore the Muslim community’s faith in the investigations by security and intelligence agencies which, due to their consistently one-sided probes after each such criminal act, have totally forfeited the confidence of the Muslim community,” the Mushawarat, in a resolution adopted at the meeting of its Markazi Majlis (Central Committee) chaired by AIMMM President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, said on August 9.
The Mushawarat also asked the central government “to keep a sharp eye on the dubious activities of foreign intelligence agencies like Mossad and FBI which are operating freely in our country. The central government should immediately close down the offices of all such foreign intelligence agencies as their presence on our soil is not in the interest of the peace and security of the country.”
It decided to hold a national convention on Muslim issues on November 15 this year in Delhi.
The meeting deplored the appeal of the central government against the Special Tribunal’s verdict lifting the ban on SIMI and said that this is against the precedent set by previous governments.
The Markazi Majlis also demanded a thorough probe into the activities of Hindutva outfits which have been caught in a number of terrorist acts in recent months. It demanded that the government must institute a permanent mechanism to monitor the activities of Hindutva outfits.
“Of late a number of arrests of Hindutva activists working for various organisations and in a number of regions like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have been made. Some of these have confessed to have planted earlier explosives. During the first hour after the Jaipur blasts a rickshaw-puller named “Vijay” confessed on TV cameras that he was responsible for some blasts and he named a woman in the vicinity who had paid him for the same, but no serious probe has been made in these incidents. The central and state governments should create permanent mechanisms to observe and probe the activities of Hindutva extremist outfits like VHP, Bajrang Dal, ABVP, Durga Vahini, Shiv Sena, Hindu Jagran Samiti, etc.
“It is high time the authorities probed all possible culprits behind violence in India, especially those who benefit politically from the same, and only then the true picture will emerge and the real culprits will be punished.”
Offering sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families of the victims and expressing its sympathies to the injured who suffered at the hands of criminals ‘whose aim is to create chaos and disaffection between various communities and to put brakes to the progress of the country’, the Mushawarat deplored “the tendency of the security agencies which within hours of any such criminal incident, comes up with a ready-made list of culprits although past experience has demonstrated that such allegations could not be proved even months after the occurrence of these crimes as in the case of Jaipur blasts of last May. Such behaviour on the part of lazy security forces and the reporting of their claims by an unsuspecting, stenographic media vitiates the harmonious communal atmosphere and allows the real culprits to continue unhindered their criminal activities.”
The Mushawarat also asked the central government to put under scanner the activities of Hindutva terrorist groups which have been openly supported by the Shiv Sena supremo and his newspaper.
The Mushawarat also asked the central government to probe the role of the Navi Mumbai-based American national, a former American soldier, from whose computer the so-called “Indian Mujahidin” email was sent. “This dubious character should not be allowed to leave the country before an exhaustive probe is completed. If he is allowed to leave our shores, it will be a shameful replay of the NDA government’s release of the foreign detainees in the Purulia arms drop,” it said.
The Mushawarat also noted that although Modi government in Gujarat did not resort this time to initiate and direct violence against Muslims, it has nevertheless started large-scale harassment of Muslims across Gujarat as it has arrested over 400 Muslim youths in the wake of the Ahmedabad blasts amid efforts to somehow pin the blame on Muslims.
Welcoming the verdict issued by the Special Tribunal set up by the Union Government to look into the re-imposition of the ban for the fourth time last February, the Mushawarat observed that “from day one, the ban was a means in the hands of the anti-Muslim fascist forces in this country who dream to put the whole Muslim community on the defensive and who have very much succeeded in their designs by continuously harping on the myth that the community somehow supports and harbours terrorists. This claim, repeated ad nauseum by an unquestioning stenographic media, is in its totality a lie and a concoction of the fascist forces who want to reduce the minorities to the status of second class citizens and who themselves have been found to indulge in terrorist activities.”
It also observed that “despite the advent of the UPA rule, thanks to the penetration of saffron elements in the central home ministry, security forces and the Congress party itself, the propaganda against the community continued unabated and the ban on SIMI was renewed twice by the UPA government although, apart from unsubstantiated claims, there was no tangible proof that the organisation indulged in terrorist activities.”
On welfare schemes for minorities, the Mushawarat observed that “the whole exercise of welfare schemes announced under the Prime Minister’s new 15-point programme and in the wake of the Sachar Panel report, remains mostly on paper and most of the meagre amounts allocated are being returned unspent to the treasury. The problem lies in the cumbersome procedures and tedious forms to be filled by applicants in record time as only a few days and weeks are allowed for filing applications which are to be supported by umpteen documents which are costly or at times impossible to obtain for residents of small towns and villages where the majority of such applicants live.”
On riots and violence against minorities and weaker sections, the Mushawarat said it is pained that violence and riots continue on almost on daily basis initiated by Hindutva forces against the Muslim and Christian minorities.
“Pigs’ heads are being thrown into mosques, wild claims are being made here and there that Muslims slaughtered cows and before any investigation and tests are done, minority houses are burnt and people are attacked and made to flee their homes. Churches and Christian community establishments are being attacked in various parts of the country almost every day. Atrocities against Dalits also continue unabated even in Uttar Pradesh which is ruled at present by a Dalit party. Dalits are beaten up, paraded naked, and are forced to leave villages as in Gujarat recently. All this takes place while authorities make no effort to nab the criminals and bring them to justice and protect the victims.”
The Mushawarat asked the authorities to wake up and apply the law in letter and spirit before things go out of control.
On the controversial issue of registration of marriages, the Mushawarat said, “Opposition has been voiced from sections of the Muslim community to the idea of compulsory registration of marriages. The MMM feels that this is a positive and beneficial step, especially for women, and a way should be found to accept this idea. One way may be to accept the Nikah registers and the certificates of marriage called “nikahnama” issued by qazis as an acceptable form of registration.”
The Mushawarat hoped for an amicable solution to the current controversy in Jammu & Kashmir and condemned the blockade of the Valley of Kashmir and harassment of Muslims in Jammu by Hindutva agitators.
“A certain political party has found it expedient to exploit the current problems in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the wake of the cancellation of the controversial gift of forest land to a religious board in the Valley of Kashmir. Agitation is being orchestrated by the workers of that certain party resulting in the condemnable blockade of the Valley of Kashmir as well as pressure on the Muslim community in Jammu region itself so much so that some Muslims from Jammu have started moving out anticipating more trouble and violence. The MMM believes that a way-out should be found to satisfy both the Muslim and Hindu communities in the state of J&K while taking into account the fears of the Kashmiri Muslims that such moves are an attempt to change the demography of the state.”
It also offered condolences to the families of prominent leaders and friends of the community who passed away recently and prayed for their souls, especially GM Banatwala and Muhammad Ibrahim Ansari who both were members of AIMMM.