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Minority rights, rule of law under peril in MP, JIH team concludes

By Pervez Bari

New Delhi: “Democracy, civil liberties, minority rights, rule of law are under peril in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh following hate violence in Malwa region of the state”.

This was the conclusion drawn by a four-member delegation of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, (JIH), which visited Ujjain, Indore, Dewas and Bhopal to gather information about a number of incidents of violence and mob attacks on Muslims in various cities of Madhya Pradesh (MP).

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The delegation comprising of Prof. Salim Engineer, National Vice President JIH, Malik Mohtashim Khan, National Secretary JIH and Assistant Secretaries Nadeem Khan and Inam-ur-Rehman addressed a virtual press meet from the JIH headquarters.

Addressing a joint Press Conference some of the significant findings of the JIH team that were spelt out while answering questions to the media were: “The poor among the Muslim community are being picked up as soft targets as it is difficult for them to defend themselves both physically and legally. They are subjected to acts of violence and lynching. The motive of those behind the groups who conduct this violence appears to create a fear psychosis in the minority community in the state. There seems to be a competition among the ruling elite of UP and MP as to who commits more atrocities against minorities to gain political mileage and increase their rating as champions of the majority community.

Malik Mohtashim Khan, National Secretary JIH, said that today, even running a business, celebrating Independence Day and raising slogans for their leaders in Madhya Pradesh is becoming an excuse for the anti-social elements to target Muslims physically. It is a sad day for democracy and civil liberties, minority rights and rule of law are under peril. The criminals feel emboldened and know that they will not be touched and hence are taking law in their hands with impunity. The role of police and the administration was not fair. They appear to be under severe political pressure and are trying to indirectly save the criminals instead of helping the victims. It was quite shocking to find that in some cases the victims themselves have been framed and made accused and put in jail.

The JIH team also found that many of Muslim youths who were demanding action against criminals and justice for victims have been charged under very serious sections of IPC and put behind bars.  The role of the Home Minister of MP was highly objectionable and against all norms of those who hold constitutional position. It was observed that the victims, their families and even the Muslim community and their leaders are in a state of fear and feel that there is very little hope that the state government and the police would do justice with them.

JIH Assistant Secretary Nadeem Khan, who was part of the delegation, said one startling finding was that the due process of law is not being followed while framing serious charges such as sedition against those arrested. The guidelines of Supreme Court are being flouted when it came to subjecting the video graphic evidence to forensic examination.

The JIH delegation met family members of victims of mob violence. They consoled them and assured them of all legal help. They also met senior police officials in Ujjain and Indore and public representatives to express their concern over rising incidents of hate crimes. The delegation also met community leaders, legal activists, social workers and defenders of human rights. The delegation discussed ways to extend legal aid to the victims and initiate penal action against criminals and their supporters.

JIH will write to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan to demand that the state government initiate immediate measures to check the hate-related violence, to punish the perpetrators and their patrons, develop confidence and trust in the Muslim community. The police and the administration should ensure justice to the victims and should resist all forms of political pressure from different quarters”.

JIH supports Kisan stirIn the virtual press conference, the JIHVice President Prof. Salim Engineer expressed support of JIH for the demands expressed in the recent Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar. He said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind appreciates the show of solidarity between the farmers who vowed not to be swayed away by the forces of hatred and create a divide between communities on religious lines. Eight years ago in 2013, Muzaffarnagar was the scene of some of the most brutal communal violence; the same place was filled with fraternity, love and mutual trust between Hindus and Muslims. This is the victory of love over hate.  JIH appeals to all the citizens of India to unite and save it from the path of destruction that the communal forces are trying to lead the country to”.

Justice to kin Sabiya Saifi

The National Secretary of Women’s Wing of JIH Mrs. Rahmat-un-nisa also addressed the Press conference and condemned the alleged brutal rape and murder of Sabiya Saifi. She said: “We demand immediate arrest of the culprits and ex-gratia payment to her family members. News reports about family members not being satisfied with the course and speed of investigation should be verified through an impartial probe.

Mrs. Rahmat said: “It is a sad reality that despite so much rhetoric about “Beti Bachao”, we have failed to create a climate in which our girls and women feel safe and secure in their workplace and outdoors.

JIH hopes the government, law enforcement agencies, lawmakers, the judiciary and concerned citizens will chalk out new policies for the protection and security of our women so that they can accomplish their potential without fear of being stalked, harassed and losing their lives to crimes that put humanity to shame, she added.

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