By Pervez Bari
New Delhi: “Democracy, civil liberties, minority rights and the rule of law are at risk in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh following heinous violence in Malwa region, state.”
This is the conclusion drawn by a delegation of four members of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), which traveled to Ujjain, Indore, Dewas and Bhopal to gather information on a number of incidents of violence and mob attacks against Muslims in various towns. from Madhya Pradesh (MP).
The delegation consisting of Professor Salim Engineer, JIH National Vice President Malik Mohtashim Khan, JIH National Secretary and Deputy Secretaries Nadeem Khan and Inam-ur-Rehman spoke at a virtual press conference from headquarters of JIH.
At a joint press conference, some of the important conclusions of the JIH team that were stated when answering questions from the media were: “The poor among the Muslim community are seen as easy targets because it is difficult for them to defend themselves physically and legally. They are subjected to acts of violence and lynching. The motive of those behind the groups that carry out this violence seems to create a psychosis of fear in the state’s minority community. There appears to be a competition between the ruling elite of the UP and the MP over who commits the most atrocities against minorities to gain political clout and increase their rating as champions of the majority community.
Malik Mohtashim Khan, JIH National Secretary, said that today even running a business, celebrating independence day and throwing slogans for their leaders in Madhya Pradesh becomes an excuse for antisocial elements to physically target Muslims. It is a sad day for democracy and civil liberties, minority rights and the rule of law are in jeopardy. Criminals feel emboldened and know that they will not be affected and, therefore, pursue justice with impunity. The role of the police and the administration was not fair. They seem to be under strong political pressure and try to indirectly save the criminals instead of helping the victims. It was quite shocking that in some cases the victims themselves were framed, charged and jailed.
The JIH team also found that many young Muslims who demanded action against criminals and justice for the victims were charged under very serious IPC provisions and put behind bars. The role of the MP’s interior minister was highly reprehensible and contrary to all standards of those who hold a constitutional position. It has been 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 will deliver justice to them.
JIH Deputy Secretary Nadeem Khan, who was part of the delegation, said that a surprising conclusion was that due process is not followed when bringing serious charges such as sedition against those arrested. Supreme Court guidelines are flouted when it comes to subjecting graphic video evidence to forensic examination.
The JIH delegation met with family members of victims of collective violence. They consoled them and assured them of all legal aid. They also met with senior police officials in Ujjain and Indore and representatives of the public to express concern over the increase in hate crime incidents. The delegation also met with community leaders, legal activists, social workers and human rights defenders. The delegation discussed ways to extend legal aid to victims and to initiate criminal proceedings against criminals and their supporters.
JIH will write to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to demand that the state government take immediate action to curb hate-related violence, punish perpetrators and their bosses, build trust in the Muslim community. The police and the administration must ensure justice for the victims and must resist all forms of political pressure from different walks of life ”.
JIH supports Kisan stirDuring the virtual press conference, the JIHVice President Prof. Salim Engineer expressed support to 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 have sworn not to be swayed by the forces of hatred and to create a wedge between communities on religious grounds. Eight years ago, in 2013, Muzaffarnagar was the scene of some of the most brutal community violence; the same place was filled with brotherhood, love and mutual trust between Hindus and Muslims. It is the victory of love over hate. JIH calls on all citizens of India to unite and save it from the path of destruction to which the communal forces are trying to lead the country ”.
Justice to the parents of Sabiya Saifi
The National Secretary of the Women’s Wing of JIH Mrs Rahmat-un-nisa also spoke at the press conference and condemned the alleged brutal rape and murder of Sabiya Saifi. She said: “We demand the immediate arrest of the culprits and the ex gratia payment of her family members. Reports of family members who are dissatisfied with the conduct and speed of the investigation should be verified through an impartial investigation.
Ms 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 in and out of their workplaces.
JIH hopes that the government, law enforcement, lawmakers, judiciary and concerned citizens will define new policies for the protection and safety of our women so that they can realize their potential without fear of being stalked. , harassed and losing their lives because of crimes that shame humanity, she added.