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Muslim delegation appeals to Governor: Environment ‘free from fear’ be ensured for minorities

– Sahar Khan

Raipur, Mar. 3: A four-member delegation of Muslim community met Chhattisgarh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan at the Raj Bhawan and expressed concern over thrashing of a Muslim religious teacher, the arrest of youths allegedly involved in murder of ‘gau-sevak’ and later invoking Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against them “merely on suspicion” besides other incidents.

The delegation expressing apprehension over the disturbances created on “targeting a religious minority” had urged the Governor to enable an environment free from fear for the community, a thorough probe into the reported incidents and legal action against those who took law into their hands with their alleged “discriminatory behaviour”.

The delegation later said that the Governor had assured them the appropriate action would be initiated.

The memorandum submitted to the Governor also requested him to issue a directive for ensuring adequate security for the mosques located in villages and smaller towns of Chhattisgarh.

“There has always been a social harmony prevailing in Chhattisgarh that remains a peaceful state. But some recent incidents have unnerved the community. At Tilda (about 55 km from Raipur) where a religious teacher Maulana Asghar Ali was brutally beaten by antisocial elements and strangely he was also sent to jail. Similarly, in Kawardha stringent UAPA has been invoked against some Muslim youths merely on some suspicious activities and on the basis of their traced mobile tower location. We condemned the killing of Sadhram Yadav by whosoever committed the heinous act but the action of the district police should not be biased and unfair,” claimed the members of the delegation.

The Kawardha police maintained that Yadav, a ‘gau-sevak’ was allegedly killed by six Muslim youths on January 20 night while he was returning to his village.

The delegation also brought to the knowledge of the Governor the alleged demolishing of a Madarsa and adjoining residence in Dhamtari district and the boundary wall of graveyard in Kawardha. The state home minister Vijay Sharma has won Assembly polls from Kawardha constituency.

“It’s ironic, the municipal officer who earlier approved the construction of the graveyard boundary wall in Kawardha, the same structure later cited as illegal (after the change of regime) while he still remained in charge and was demolished,” they added.

The delegation comprised advocate Sadiq Ali, Nauman Akram Hamid, Syed Akil, and Shahid Ali.

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