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Tumult Marks Al-Ameen Election

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Prominent members disqualified from contesting. Yes-men elected to the Executive Council. Allegations fly thick and fast between two sides.

By A Staff Writer

Bengaluru: In the tumultuous elections of the Executive Council of the Al-Ameen Educational Society held on May 24, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan’s team expectedly cornered all the slots. Following the election of the 13-member executive council, Founder Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan was yet again anointed the Chairman. A. Shaikh Dawood and Amjad Hussain Hafiz Karnataki were elected vice chairmen, Subhan Shariff was elected as Honorary Secretary, Iqbal Ahmed Baig as Hony Tresurer and Omar Ismail Khan as Joint Secretary.
Others elected for the Council are: Zakariya Hashim Sait, Ahmed Shariff Siraj, Riyaz G. Farooqui, Syed Zameer Pasha, Syed Noorul Ameen Anwar, Zubair Anwar and Syed Ahmed. The elections were almost one-horse race, as nominations of six important and longstanding executive members of the Council, builder Irfan Razack, J. Shafiulla (who was Hony Treasurer in previous tenure), C. M. Aleemulla Khan, noted social worker Md. Atheeque Ahmed, former Hony. Secretary Syed Sadaqath Peeran and Yunus Mohammad were rejected by the returning officer. There were 486 members in the General Body who were eligible to cast their votes. The new Executive council and office-bearers would hold office for three years till 2018.

Honest Members Disqualified
Two former members of the Council, M. Riaz Ahmed and Maqsood Ali Khan (son of Mr. K. Rahman Khan) retired from the contest protesting against the rejection of the nominations of the six members. In a press conference on May 20, Mr. Riaz and Mr. Maqsood alleged that the nominations of sincere and honest members were rejected on the pretext of minor technicalities even though they were part of the Al-Ameen Educational Society and the movement for nearly four decades. They alleged that the Returning Officer, an employee of the Society, had acted as the handmaiden of Dr. Mumtaz-led side.

Frivolous Grounds
The nominations of the six members were rejected on the basis of their being the members of the Salar Publications Trust which publishes the Urdu daily Salar which was a tenant of the Al-Ameen Towers, the building housing the offices of the Al-Ameen Educational Society and the Daily Salar opposite the famed Lal Bagh Botanical Garden of Bengaluru. The members who were disqualified from the contest moved the court challenging the decision, even though the process of election has been completed. They have contended that being Trustees of the Salar Publications Trust should be no ground for their disqualification as it was Salar as an institution was the tenant, not they as the members of the Trust.
Maqsood and Riaz have alleged that the Al-Ameen Educational Society had become a den of irregularities by some vested interests who have come to occupy important positions. They also alleged that Al-Ameen movement and the Society were set up by a group of sincere workers such as late Begum Abbasia Makki, Aabid Shariff, late Mir Maqsood Ali Khan, late Jaffer Ali Khan, late Azeez Sait, Mr. K. Rahman Khan, Mr. Ghulam Mohammad, Mr. Peermiyan etc. They said the contributions of these worthies of the movement were being ignored and there were attempts to appropriate the entire credit by Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan. They reminded that Al-Ameen campus came to acquire the current prominence due to valuable services and contribution by people like Rahman Khan, builder Irfan Razack, Syed Sadaqath Peeran, Md. Atheeque Ahmed etc. It was during the reign of Mr. Rahman Khan as chairman between 1982 and 2000 that the campus came to acquire several professional educational institutions. They said it was rather bizarre that nominations of such architects of the Al-Ameen Society were rejected on frivolous grounds, although they had continued to be on the Trust of Salar Publications Trust even during earlier terms and never encountered such objections.
They vowed to continue their struggle to free the Al-Ameen Society from the clutches of the vested interests and restore the institution’s past glory.
Curiously, the daily Salar did not carry the results of the election in its May 21 edition. The Al-Ameen Education Society advertised the results in the other Urdu daily, Rashtriya Sahara from Bengaluru.

The current episode marks a new turn in the tussle for power and authority in the House of Al-Ameen. It has been seeing a tug-of-war between Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan led Al-Ameen Education Society (and its educational institutions) on one side and Mr. K. Rahman Khan and his colleagues who have controlled the Daily Salar, Amanath Cooperative Bank (which is in a state of limbo due to RBI moratorium on transactions currently) on the other. Allegations and accusations of authoritarianism and corruption and irregularities have flown thick and fast between the two sides. Salar has been denying editorial space to the Al-Ameen institutions who have been buying advertisement space in the daily for highlighting of their activities. Yet, Salar which had so far avoided carrying any negative report against the Al-Ameen Education Society, highlighted the allegations of irregularities and authoritarian attitude of its founder and current office-bearers for the first time on May 24.

Bigwigs Eased Out
Dr. Mumtaz has eased out several reputed members from the Executive Council during the last three years. Their presence on the Al-Ameen’s executive panel would have brought credit to the organization and endowed it with fund of goodwill and experience. Attempts by well-meaning individuals to broker peace have not been successful so far. It will be in the larger interest of the community if the two sides bury the hatchet and bring about synergy to take the movement forward.