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    Posted on 22 November 2012
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    'The State created paranoia about Islamic terror to dodge real issues'

    Demonstrators in Delhi protest against the false implication of Muslim youths in terror cases

    Shazia Nigar
    New Delhi

    Photo: Dijeshwar Singh

    Demonstrators gathered at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Thursday 22 November to protest against the false implication of Muslim youths in terror cases. A gathering of around 250 people demanded that all innocent Muslims who have been implicated falsely should be released and an investigation should be carried out against those responsible for the arrests.


    “Thousands of lives have been ruined because of the targeting of Muslim youths. Youngsters are kept in illegal custody, tortured, stripped and humiliated. They spend 10 to 15 years in jail after which the court accepts their innocence. By that time, they've lost their youth, education and career. It not only ruins one's life, but also ruins families,” said Mohammed Ahmad, Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

    “Paranoia about Islamic terror has been created by the State. It enables the State to dodge real issues,” said Tasleem Rehmani of Muslim Political Council. “It distracts from problems of basic facilities like health, education and inflation which is the responsibility of the state. We have to fight against this paranoia for the sake of Indian democracy,” Rehmani added.

    Akhlak Ahmad, National Co-ordinator of Association for Protection of Civil Rights, emphasised that the issue not just about Muslim youths, but also about basic human rights. He stated that it was a blot on the Indian constitution. Biju Nayak, Delhi Secretary of Lok Raj Sangathan said that Muslims are constantly pushed to prove their national loyalty in this country. He said “This country belongs to all of us and we need to take charge of it. It is not the people that are communal, it is the State itself”.

    “State terror, down down” shouted the protesters as they waved flags belonging to the Student Islamic Organisation (SIO) and displayed placards that demanded the immediate release of innocent Muslim youths. The SIO president Mohammed Azharuddin, who took to the stage amid much sloganeering, commented on the tendency of the corporate media to ‘make an issue out of a non-issue.’ He said “We need to remind them of their responsibility. With social media, even the common people have agency over information flow. We must make use of all our resources.”

    Politicians at the protest too promised to put in their every effort to remedy the situation. Mohammed Adeeb, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha said, “Since partition, Muslims in this country have been made out to be the other. Now that our children are getting educated and making a place, they are being targeted in an attempt to suppress them.” He stated that he, along with CPM and Lok Janshakti, will meet the Prime Minister and put forward the demands that were discussed at the protest. Members of Welfare Party and Lok Janshakti were also present.

    Also present was senior journalist Syed Ahmad Kazmi who was arrested on the basis of his alleged involvement with the Israeli Embassy car blast case. The lack of evidence against him has only pointed towards his innocence. He shared his experience of being implicated in a false case and the difficulties of adjusting to a normal life after an imprisonment. “If I faced so much trouble returning to normal life, imagine what a youth experiences after spending 10 to 15 years in jail for no fault of his,” he said.

    Forty-five-year-old Nagma Parween, a housewife, said she had come out to protest the discrimination against the minority community. Commenting on the targeting of Muslims, she said, “Even Israel is dancing to the tunes of America. In India, the educated Muslims are targeted so that they do not demand what is rightfully theirs.”

    shazia@tehelka.com


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    Posted on 22 November 2012
 

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