Barbaric Police Attack on Jamia Millia Students
UP Govt. Goes Ahead
Plea for Greater Popular Contacts
Mujahidul Islam is New Chief
India to Introduce more Rigid Rules
Bhatkal Society Celebrates Eighty Years of Existence
15th Al-Ameen Award For Rahman Khan
Barbaric Police Attack on Jamia Millia Students
From A. B. Masoud
New Delhi: In a massive display of brutality and high-handedness, the Delhi Police attacked on hundreds of innocent students of Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university on the night between April 9 and 10. That the attack was carried out in the national capital is enough evidence of what could happen to minorities elsewhere. Leading human rights organisation People’s Union for Civil Liberties has termed the incident as shameful and “stumbling block in the way of integration of minorities in the mainstream and has sent a negative message across.”
Quoting several eyewitnesses, a report released by PUCL said, a large contingent of police force (nearly 1000) barged into the Central library, SRK Hostel, Pink House, White House and Sartaj Hostel, where hundreds of students were engaged in serious preparations for their ongoing annual examinations. Within a few moments, the peaceful atmosphere was transformed, as this craven bunch of policemen pounded the hapless students who ran helter-skelter. The police force used all its brutal might to thrash any student they encountered with lathis, and whatever other potent objects they could use.
The Police barged into the Library on the pretext of arresting two ex-students, wanted in some case. When the students opposed and in protest they blocked the road, the police called the reinforcement and resorted to lathi charge on the students. However, the Provost Dr. Mohammad Samim intervened and persuaded the students to go back to the hostels. Once, they reached the hostels, all of a sudden, police attacked them and unleashed a reign of terror with full vengeance.
According to the PUCL report, the police had entered campus without the permission of University authorities. When the Provost opposed, he was beaten up. When the students tried to escape by hiding in bathrooms or jumping to the ground from Ist, 2nd and 3rd floors, some policemen pounded upon them. The few who managed to escape were chased by police dogs. Many hid themselves in the foundations that are dug by the labourers to construct the workshop for mechanical engineering department in the hostel.
Even the wash basins and water pipes were dismantled by the police. Students said on an average six policemen were beating one student at every place from staircases to the ground and the road. Two students were thrown in the gutter.
The fact that the entire operation was pre-planned, could be judged from the fact that a part of the police force was engaged in sealing the exit points of the campus, to take out their grudge against the university.
The majority of students present were severely assaulted on their heads and other parts of the body, even as they ran helter shelter with no route to escape. The intensity of the spell of terror let loose by the police could be seen in the university hostels. Broken doors, window panes, personal belonging strewn all over rooms, smashed furniture, broken beds, upturned suitcases and ransacked almirahs were common sight. The valuables including cash, cameras, watches, calculators, even personal documents like passports, certificates were illegally taken away by the police. Imam of university mosque Mahmoodul Hassan Nadvi was severely beaten, before he could ask them what is the matter. His beard was pulled. Using filthy language, police pounced on him saying, “kya sikhata hai laundon ko, yahan ISI ka den bana rakha hai.” (What do you teach them. You have created an ISI den here!)
The PUCL team found it a common pattern used by the police. Another pattern reported to the team was -- the students who were severely injured were sent to Tihar jail, and those who did not reveal their injuries were released later.
The whole exercise gave the impression as though the people sitting in the library and hostels were not students, but hardcore militants and ISI agents and the police had to settle some score. Police used derogatory expressions “Pakistani dogs, ISI agents, Katwas” and other filthy words.
The dastardly act did not stop here, it was merely a beginning. The arrested students taken to various police stations were identified on the basis of their religion and the treatment was meted out to them accordingly.
In the Srinivaspuri police station, the Muslim students were separated out and flayed with iron rods, and those who had grown beards were specially targeted.
“In one instance, a policeman pulled the beard of a student and mocked “Where is your Allah? Call your Allah for help. You ISI agents! Say Narae Takbeer Allaho-Akbar.” Photographs and thumb impressions of students were taken as though they were some notorious criminals and all the students were formally charged for God knows what. Some students were later shifted to the Tihar Jail”, the PUCL report said.
It has been revealed by the students who were released from the police-stations after 24-hours of arrest that food was not given for the entire day, they were in the custody. About 70 students were locked up in one small room. A few gulps of water was what they got.
The report also revealed that the 66 students shifted to the Tihar Jail were the ones who were grievously assaulted in the police stations. Out of these 11 were brutally disabled. And four are on the verge of death. This was done as an attempt on the part of the police so that their acts don’t go public. The students in Tihar were later released on bail after the matter rocked the parliament.
Out of the 66 arrested, 30 had head injuries, 18 had suffered hand and wrist fractures, 12 leg fractures and five of them were in critical condition. One was operated upon and a steel rod had to be inserted in the wrist.
Following the widespread protests, Central government ordered a magisterial inquiry, though, opposition parties were insisting on judicial inquiry. A delegation of students twice met Union Home Minister L. K. Advani, as Delhi Police comes under the jurisdiction of central government. He, however, refused to intervene directly until magisterial enquiry is completed.
Demanding a judicial probe by at least a sitting or retired high court judge, PUCL report has asked for strict measures to stop saffronization of bureaucracy in general and police in particular. The judicial probe should be within a time limit of two months and also names of responsible policemen be made public. The civil rights group has further asked for the sanitization of police force and called for appropriate measures to prevent police using derogatory language pertaining to gender, caste and community.
The PUCL report has concluded that this incident was a stumbling block in the integration of minorities in national life. The illtreatment of students has sent a negative message to the community at home. At a time when separatist movements have plagued various parts of the country, such incidents just serve the cause of separatists and not that of national integration.
The team had dismissed the police allegation that students had provoked the police. The report said no evidence was found to stand by the police claim.
The PUCL team headed by its President Justice R. B. Mehrotra also included Dr. Anup Saraya, Ms. Jahanara and Dr. Gopa Joshi.
UP Govt. Goes Ahead
Obaid Nasir in Lucknow
Despite pressure from opposition and Muslim organisations Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ram Prakash Gupta has refused to withdraw the controversial U.P. Religious Places Regulation Bill 2000. In his reply on the motion of thanks to Governor's address to the budget session of the state legislature, the Chief Minister not only refused to withdraw the bill but even threatened to formulate harsher laws to curb the 'ISI activities particularly on Indo-Nepal Border'.
Earlier, the entire opposition had impressed upon the government to withdraw the bill as it was violative of article 13, 25, 26, 29 and 30 of the Constitution and is communal in nature as the patriotic credentials of the entire Muslim community were being put under cloud of suspicion. The government did not even agree for a discussion in the House under rule 110 as it envisaged voting in the house could have put the government in an embarrassing position because its allies Lok Tantrik Congress Party and Jantantrik Bahujan Samaj Party and other smaller groups were not willing to vote in favour of the bill. Instead, the government was willing for a discussion under rule 311.
Actually the main opposition i.e. Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav had given the notice under 311 which was readily agreed by the Speaker. But Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Lok Dal insisted upon rule 110 to expose the double character of BJP's allies who inside the house support the goverment and profess to be secular outside. Samajwadi Party later joined the opposition demand for the discussion under rule 110 which was not agreed upon by the Speaker. Now Lok Dal is planning to bring about a private member bill by its MLA Nawab Kaukab.
Earlier the issue was raised by the joint opposition on the very first day of the budget session of State legislature. There was such a pandemonium that the governor could'nt read his address. Outside the house almost all secular parties and organisations of Muslims are constantly opposing the bill and are insisting upon the President of India to return the bill.
It was the pressure of these Muslim organisations that Governor Suraj Bhan in spite of giving his assent to the bill referred it to the President as many Central laws were involved in the bill. On 4th April, Samajwadi Party staged dharna at all district headquarters to oppose the bill. On 20th April, this was repeated by Bahujan Samaj Party and its leader Ms. Mayawati said if she came to power after next election the bill will be immediately withdrawn. Lok Dal is planning to present a memorandum to the President with one crore signatures for rejecting the bill. Congress president Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has already met the President and has pleaded for rejection of the bill.
She has also asked two Congress cheif ministers Ashok Gahlot (Rajasthan) and Digvijay Singh (Madhya Pardesh) to review such laws in their respective states. Salman Khursheed, UPCC chief has declared his intention to move the court the moment the bill got the governor's sanction and became the act. He said he will also lay the foundation stone of a madrasa. Muslim organisations like All India Muslim Forum, Jamiatul Ulema Hind, Deeni Taleemi Council and Imam of Jamia Masjid of Delhi Syed Abdullah Bukhari, are doing their best to get the bill rejected.
The bill is now with the President of India. The central government is taking no risk and has sent bill for Governor's assent knowing fully well that if the President returned the bill for reconsideration it will put the centre as well as the UP government in an awkward position.
Muslims in UP with other secular elements of the society are determined to oppose the bill tooth and nail as it is not only infringing on their fundamental rights but castsdoubt on their patriotism.
Plea for Greater Popular Contacts
Bangalore: Nearly 500 members of the Pakistan-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy who met here at the 5th Joint Convention on April 6-8 resolved to work for deepening the Friendship between the two people. They welcomed the initiative by the Government of India to talk to the militants in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Urged strengthening of the democracy and called for shunning religious chauvinism.
The Convention recognised that the dispute over kashmir was the biggest irritant for peace in the region and called for early resolution of the issue. It refused to suggest any solution but proposed several option. Most delegates favoured third party mediation and wanted that the choice of Kashmiris should be taken into consideration. A few suggested that a stalwart like Nelson Mandela of South Africa could be asked to mediate between India and Pakistan. The representatives from Jammu and Kashmir, G.N.Gauahr and G.N.Haguroo, both advocates and members of Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association said the issue in the Jammu and Kashmir is not a territorial dispute but a question of Jammu and Kashmir people's choice.
The Forum called for cessation of all hostilities, end of violence, declaration of ceasefire by all groups in a state of war, release of all political detainees and initiating the process of dialogue which should remain transparent and without intimidation.
They condemned the cross-border terorism and fake encounters. Admiral A.L.Ramdas who heads the India chapter of the Forum said Kargil conflict had left a deep scar over the psyche. He said war had never solved any dispute and the two countries were squandering their resources and filling the coffers of merchants of arms who work for the Multinational companies. He mooted joint security for the subcontinent.
Prof. I.A.Rahman, Chairman of the Pakistan chapter of the Forum said the people below poverty line in Pakistan had doubled in recent years. New forces of intolerance were rising in the subcontinent and there was excessive glut of arms. He asked why the bureaucracies of the two countries tried to frustrate the holding of the 5th Convention, why super-duper agencies which fail to catch common thieves were tracking visitors from the two and why there is talk of closing down the Samjhauta Express train. He pleaded for rewriting the protocols of relation between the two countries, allowing exchange of publication and easing travel, trade and tourism.
Mujahidul Islam is New Chief
Lucknow: Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi, renowned Islamic scholar, and chief Qazi of Imarat-e-Shariia in Bihar & Orrisa and general secretary of all India Milli Council has been unanimously elected the new president of All India Muslim personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in its general body meeting held here in Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema on April 23, 2000. Maulana Qasmi will succeed Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi alias Ali Miyan, who expired on December 31st 1999.
The election of Maulana Qasmi though unanimous; may seriously influence the non-political character of the board. Maulana Ali Miyan who was equally revered by politicians as well as by scholars had maintained his own and the board's non political character. Maulana Qasmi on the other hand has been active on political front through his All India Milli Political Forum, the political wing of All India Milli Council. He happens to be the founder general secretary of the forum. Maulana Sajjad Nomani, the executive member of All India Milli Political Law Board and the president of the UP Unit of the All India Milli Political forum however asserts that the forum is an autonomous body and it has nothing to do with its parent party, the All India Milli Council, there are few takers of this theory. The doubt also gets strengthened if one goes through the press note issued by All India Milli Council at his election.
It said, "the board was of the opinion that in the fast changing national scenario and prejudices against Islam and Muslims. Maulana Qasmi is the most suitable person to head the organisation. He will not only protect the Muslim personal law but will also provide timely guidance to Muslims on the problems faced by the community from time to time. Though his election was unanimous, the inside story is that the 151- member strong general body was in favour of Maulana Rabey Nadvi the newly appointed Rector of Nadwatul Ulema , but he refused to shoulder this responsibility on the plea that running an internationally recognised institute like Nadwa in itself is a gigantic task and he will not be in a position do justice with another equally important assignment. So was the case with Maulana Salim Qasmi of Deoband and hence the choice narrowed down to Maulana Mujahidul Islam Qasmi.
Besides these three gentlemen, renowned Shia cleric Maulana Syed Kalbe Sadiq was the choice of Muslims in and around Lucknow.
He is equally reverted among Sunnis. In an informal chat with Islamic Voice Maulana said, "I know the position, the board will split the moment I am made the president, this is the only representative body of Indian Muslims. I couldn't commit the sin of ruining it."
India to Introduce more Rigid Rules
From A. B. Masoud
New Delhi: The BJP-led Central government is contemplating withdrawel of the “unilateral relaxations” in visa regimes for Pakistani nationals in force from 1997 to 1999. In an apparent move to appease its constituency, the Vajpayee government now sees the visa regime as a “potent threat to the security and integrity of the country.” The move is receiving full support of the main Opposition Congress party.
A senior official at the Union Home Ministry told Islamic Voice that government might accept the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs that tabled its report in Rajya Sabha on April 19. The report has called for “stringent” and “restrictive” visa regime for Pakistani nationals. The report further said that the visa regime should be based on “hundred per cent pre-verification” and “on the principle of reciprocity.”
Official claimed that as many as 11,433 Pakistani nationals were reported to have not returned to their country after the expiry of the authorised period. Of these 8,873 have overstayed and 2,560 were reported untraced. He said that possibility of some of them having links with Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) could not be ruled out. He further informed that 226 Pakistani civil prisoners were lodged in various Indian jails.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Panel on Home Mr. Pranab Mukherji, who is also a senior Congress leader said that based on the information and presentations made by the Home Secretary Mr. Kamal Pandey and other security heads at the meetings of MPs, the House Committee has concluded to dissuade Pakistani nationals from visiting India too often. Mr. Pandey, it must be noted, is nephew of Union Minister for Human Resources Development Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi.
“In the backdrop of the information provided by the government, the House Committee has come to the conclusion that in the effort to befriend a hostile neighbour of ours, we should not put our own security in danger. Care should be taken to see that in the name of people-to-people exchange, people coming from across the border do not become a potent threat to the security and integrity of our country,” said the report that reviewed demands of grants for the Home Ministry for 2000-01. The Parliamentary Committee further observed that “Pakistan has not made any reciprocal gestures in response to the unilateral friendly initiatives of New Delhi. Such relaxations have often been misused and a large number of Pakistani nationals have mysteriously disappeared after having entered the Indian territory.” The report further said that it was very difficult to trace missing Pak nationals because of several biological and racial similarities that they share with their Indian counterparts. The report alleged that many of these illegal immigrants were freely indulging in anti-India activities and were even alleged to be “the trained agents of the ISI.”
The Union Home Secretary Mr. Kamal Pandey who briefed the MPs made a case for withdrawal of the visa relaxations and introduction of a system of 100 per cent pre-verification of visa applicants. Mr. Pandey recommended that besides a system of 100 per cent verification, a system of sponsorship certificate with or without liability of Indian sponsor be also introduced for Indian visa aspirants in Pakistan. He said that Home Ministry had mooted such a proposal in 1996-97 and again in 1998, but the Ministry of External Affairs had put it down. Now, in the highly charged environment, it is strongly recommended to toughen the visa regime and regulate the visa regime of Pak nationals, said the Home Secretary.
The visa regime in both the countries is governed by the provisions of the Indo-Pak Visa Agreement, 1974 as amended from time to time. Initially, under the agreement, the different categories of visas included diplomatic, non-diplomatic, officials, visitor and transit visa were issued. The first three categories of visa were directly issued by the Foreign Office and the later two by the Home or Internal Security Department of the respective countries. The main category of visa that is visitor visa is meant for social visits and also covers bona fide businessmen.
In order to “encourage” people-to-people contacts between the citizens of both the countries, India mainly under the previous United Front government led by Inder Kumar Gujral relaxed the visa regime for Pak nationals. According to Home Secretary Pandey, more such relaxations were issued in 1999 at the behest of Ministry of External Affairs without demanding similar facilities from Islamabad for Indian nationals desirous of visiting Pakistan.
New Delhi: The Anjuman Hami-e-Muslimeen, Bhatkal, was founded in 1919, and since then has gone from strength to strength. In the eighty years since it came into existence, the society has been able to establish and run numerous educational institutions.
Bhatkal is a little town on the West Coast, in Karnataka, India. A group of Muslims known as the Navayaths living in this area can trace their ancestry to Arab traders who had visited the area around 712 AD. As a result of the intermarriage of these Arab traders with the local population, the Navayaths came into existence. The Anjuman Hami-e-Muslimeen has put a lot of effort in developing educational institutions in Bhatkal, and has done so without distinction of caste, creed or community.
The society is at present managing 15 institutions, including professional colleges of engineering and management. These 15 institutions have a total enrolment of over 6,000 students. The society regards the Anjuman College of Engineering as its crowning achievement, because it attracts students from all corners of India. It has a state-of-the-art computer centre. The Anjuman Art, Science and Commerce College, the Islamia Anglo-Urdu High School and the Anjuman Girls’ High School have distinguished themselves as institutions that provide quality education for boys and girls.
The society is now making preparations for the celebration of its eighty years of existence “in a big way,” according to its secretary. These celebrations will start at the beginning of May and are expected to continue till September 2000. Among the highlights of the celebrations would be an All-India Muslim Education Conference, scheduled to be held in Bhatkal, and in which a number of scholars and educationists from various parts of the subcontinent are expected to participate.
The main topic of discussion would be the status of education among Muslims, and it is expected that relevant recommendations would accordingly be made.
Bangalore: Mr. K.Rahman Khan, member of Parliament was presented with the 15th Al-Ameen All-India Community Leadership Award on April 8. This is in recognition of Mr.Khan’s service in the field of education and economy. Mr.Khan was the key ally of Dr.Mumtaz Ahmed Khan in founding Al-Ameen Education Society and Amanath Cooperative Bank in Bangalore, two institutions that benefit a vast chunk of Muslims in the southern metropolis and the state of Karnataka.
Synchronising with the award ceremony in the Al-Ameen College Campus, Mr.Khan while delivering the Tippu Shaheed Memorial Lecture urged the Muslims to take up the cause of socio-economic elevation, modernise madrassas, develop waqf properties, set up banks and cooperative and opt for modern financial practices. Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan presented the Award to Dr.Khan while secretary Sadaqat Peeran read the citation.
Prof. Sanaulla Bintory
Bangalore: Prof. Sanaulla Bintory, a chronicler of scientific history of Islamic era died in Madinah Munawarah on April 17 after completion of Haj. Death came after a brief illness.
Prof. Bintory taught physics at the city’s Al-Ameen Arts, Science and Commerce College and was vice principal of the college for some years. Profound interest in Islam and Science led him to develop an exhibition on the subject which was organised in Bangalore on several occasions. Last year he organised the same in Pune and Nagpur in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Islamic Culture. A man of genial nature and scholarly disposition, Prof. Bintory was also an expert on comparative religion and frequently lectured on the topic.