The Peoples’ Convention held in New Delhi demanded the countrymen for a concerted effort to work for the restoration of the rule of law in the country and to make it free from the scourge of terrorism and communalism which threaten our secular and constitutional framework. The convention was organised by Co-ordination Committee for Indian Muslims at Aiwan-e-Ghalib in the Capital on November 3.
Former Prime Minister of India H D Deve Gowda delivered the keynote address. He blamed Congress for not allowing regional secular parties to grow and giving chances for Hindutva forces. Both BJP and Congress are following same policies of West in economical and international matters, he added.
Mr. Sitaram Yachuri, Polit bureau member of CPI (M) viewed that a “political alternative” based on secularism is the need of the hour. Targeting of particular community in the name of curbing terrorism is unacceptable.
Minorities are the victims of “silent conspiracy” designed by the powerful forces existing in two major political parties, expressed Mr Shahid Siddiqi, General Secretary of BSP. He said we should approach United Nations Human Rights Commission for our rights.
General Secretary of CPI A B Bardhan also expressed the same concerns over state terrorism and targeting the Muslim community. CPI leaders D Raja and Atul Kumar Anjan also spoke at the function.
While addressing the gathering eminent journalist Seema Mustafa said that media has a vital role to play in making India communalism- and terror-free. But the capitalist corporates who fund these media rule over it. Working journalists are feeling suffocated in these news rooms, she added.
Islam asks Muslims to stand for social justice, but unfortunately today Muslims are requesting justice from others, said Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, President Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. He was delivering the presidential address in the convention. Which political party will come forward to ensure the rights of the citizens that are being denied is the point to be understood, he added.
Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, President All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, Acting Gen. Secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan, State President of Jamiat Ahle Hadees, Prof. Mohammed Sulaiman, President of Indian National League, Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, Asst. General Secretary of All India Milli Council, Maulana Zeeshan Hidayati of Idare Fikr-o-Amal, Mr. Bishruddin Sharqi, President SIO, Dr. Taslim Rahmani, Arshad Khan and Mr Tej Singh also spoke at the function.
Members of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) were seen roaming in and around the auditorium with T-shirts that read, “shoot us at point blank”, “kya pata kab banadiya jaon mai mastermind” and also conducted mock encounters titled “catching the tiger”, and “Shoot out”.
The conference adopted the following resolutions:
1. This People’s Convention, representing all major Indian Muslim organizations and secular forces in the country, resolves to work for the restoration of the rule of law in our country and to make it free from the scourge of terrorism and communalism which threaten our secular and constitutional framework.
2. The Convention reiterates that Islam and Muslims are fundamentally opposed to terrorism as Islam and its holy book, The Qur’an, categorically forbid killing anyone unjustly and by unjust means. The Indian Muslim community through umpteen conferences and religious scholars and institutions has issued clear fatwas denouncing terrorism as an act totally forbidden in Islam. The Muslim community is opposed to terrorism whatever its source and shape.
3. We declare that the Indian Muslim community and all secular forces are contributing to usher in a terror-free India where all communities and segments of society may flourish and contribute to the progress and welfare of the country. We believe that existing laws are sufficient to deal with the scourge of terrorism.
4. We clearly reject giving unlimited authority to the police. We, in particular, reject the legal sanctity to "confessions" given to the police and making bail applications more difficult for those accused of terrorism. No other law in India makes "confessions" to the police admissible in courts and the anti-terror law too must not be an exception. The Indian police is highly discredited in the eyes of the public because it normally resorts to third degree torture which along with fake encounters, kidnappings and illegal detention amounts to State Terrorism. In all terrorism cases, where the police fails to file charge-sheets within a reasonable time-frame like six months, the accused should automatically get an automatic bail.
5. We make it clear that the style of provocative searches and encounters is unacceptable in a democratic society. It always smacks of a preplanned conspiracy and betrays the police’s inability or unwillingness to face courts of law. More specifically, we reject the Batla-house style of encounter killings. Since there is widespread skepticism about the police story we demand a high-level judicial enquiry into the Batla House encounter so that all facts may come out.
6. This convention registers its displeasure at the print and electronic media which blindly reproduces leaks attributed to unknown security agencies and starts media trial by blaming the Muslim community minutes after any terrorist incident. This leads to instability in the country and ill-will towards the whole Muslim community.
7. This convention is relieved to note that at last our fears have been vindicated that a large number of terrorist blasts were conducted by Hindutva terrorist organizations like VHP, Bajrang Dal, Shri Ram Sena, Hindu Munnani, Hindu Jagran Manch, Yuva Hindu Vahini, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, ABVP and Durga Vahini etc, which are targeting Muslim and Christian communities in a number of states. There should not be double standards when dealing with terrorists.
8. Registering our strong displeasure at the utter disinterest shown by the security agencies towards umpteen cases of Hindutva terrorism unearthed during the last few years at places like Nanded, Tenkasi, Kanpur, Thane, Panvel etc., we demand that no partiality should be shown in the investigations to uncover the tip of the iceberg which has come out as a result recent investigations and blasts in which these criminal elements were involved. Any laxity or politicization of this issue will only prolong the agony of the country and make the fight against terrorism that much more difficult.
9. This convention registers its deep concern that senior retired as well as serving army officers are involved in Hindutva terrorism. The Union Government should take serious note of this issue and form a committee to purge the army of such dangerous elements who are a threat to national security.
10. This convention realizes that Hindutva elements through their acts of terrorism and communal riots aim at polarizing the Indian society on communal lines in order to reap political benefit which is reprehensible and condemnable. We ask all sections of society to oppose this threat to our communal harmony.
11. This convention appeals to the people of all faiths and beliefs to unite and strengthen the secular and constitutional framework of the country.