A rally of prominent citizens of Delhi was organized under the auspices of the Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims on September 26, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The rally was attended by leaders of major Muslim organisations, Leftist and secular leaders, students, youths, social activists, intellectuals, and concerned citizens. They condemned all disruptive and terrorist acts committed by anyone as well as the incidents of State brutality.
Addressing the gathering, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, Imam Shahi Jama Masjid Delhi, blamed the Union Home Minister for all terrorist activities in the country.
“If Atif was behind Delhi blasts, who was behind blasts in several mosques across the country, including Nanded, Malegaon, Ajmer Dargah, and Makkah Masjid of Hyderabad?” asked the Imam.
He came down heavily on the media for tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims in the garb of war on terror. While criticising State terrorism, the Imam urged Muslim leaders and masses to strengthen the unity among them to take on the attack on the community.
Irfanullah Khan, Chairman Jamia Nagar Coordination Committee, said the bombings and post-bombing operation are aimed at breaking the Muslim community economically and educationally. He said now the police have begun targeting the educated class of the community. Earlier they would target madrasa teachers and students. He also lambasted the media for projecting the Jamia Nagar area as the hub of terrorism.
JNU Students Union president Sandeep Singh demanded role of RSS in all bomb explosions in the country. Vanessa Chisti (Research Scholar of JNU) supported the demand.
The demonstrators were holding placards. Some of them read: We want CBI/Judicial enquiry of encounter, We are against terrorism, Stop arresting innocents and Stop state terrorism.
Then the rally marched towards the Parliament. They were making slogans against the government, police and media. The police stopped them much before the Parliament.
Some leaders including Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat president Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, Dr. Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas Editor Afkar-e-Milli and Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind were taken by the police to the PMO where they handed over a memorandum.
The memorandum made the following demands:
1) The Government of India should take note of the pertinent questions raised by several citizens’ inquiry teams about the questionable nature of the September 19 “encounter” at Batla House, Jamia Nagar. A high-level judicial, time-bound enquiry should be initiated into the whole incident to find out the truth and its findings must be made public.
2) Without proper inquiry and tangible evidence, no person or organisation should be blamed for terrorist acts.
3) All innocent persons picked up by the police in Delhi, Azamgarh, Mumbai and other places should be immediately released. No one should be arrested without substantial grounds, which should be made public.
4) The heavy police deployment in Okhla since September 19 should be withdrawn forthwith in order to remove uncertainty, sense of insecurity prevailing in the area.
5) Harassment of common people in Delhi should be stopped. Landlords should not be harassed and coerced into evicting their tenants.
6) Police should desist from torture and third degree methods and should respect the guidelines of the Supreme Court in this regard.
7) Even minors are being picked up by the Police. They should be immediately released.
8) Some of the arrested students have clear evidence available of their innocence. They should be immediately released.
9) In conducting raids and detaining people for questioning, the police should take the residents associations and leading personalities of the area into confidence.
10) The media must be made to behave in a responsible, unbiased and impartial manner. The rally condemns the blatant anti-Muslim bias exhibited by a section of the media which rushes to conclusions, blows up and in effect blames the whole Muslim community and entire regions of committing/abetting terrorism.
11) The Government should respect the verdict of the Justice Geeta Mittal Tribunal and lift the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). It should note that dozens of former SIMI activists have been acquitted by courts across the country.
The signatories to the memorandum are Mujtaba Farooq, Convenor Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims and Secretary Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, Acting General Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, Asst. General Secretary, All India Milli Council, Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan, President Jamiat Ahl-e Hadees, Delhi Pradesh, Dr Taslim Rahmani, President Muslim Political Council, Maulana Zeeshan Hidayati, Chairman Majlis-e-Fikr-o-Amal, Irfanullah Khan, Chairman Jamia Nagar Coordination Committee, and Maulana Jalal Haidar Naqvi, Secretary Majlis-e-Ulama-e-Islam.