‘Aatank-garh’ Muslims want separate criminal trial system for Indian Muslims

Muslims now want to be tried under separate law

  New Delhi
An over 1,000-strong Ulema Council congregation at Jantar Mantar on Thursday demanded a separate criminal trial system for the nation’s Muslims.

The gathering of Muslims from Azamgarh, led by 20 ulemas belonging to Islamic seminary Jameat-ur-Rashad in UP, claimed that a National Judicial Inquiry Committee be set up to look into cases in which the Muslim men were arrested by police on charges of terrorism but released by courts due to lack of evidence. “The Muslims freed of criminal/terror charges for lack of evidence should be compensated,” demanded the congregation. It also demanded scrapping of the recently passed anti-terror law — the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The crowd arrived at Delhi from Azamgarh in UP by a special train, called the ‘Ulema Express’. The demonstration, which began at 10 am, was also attended by students of the Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Each of the ulemas who spoke to the cheering crowds, insisted that a judicial inquiry be set up especially to look into the September 17 Batla House encounter by a sitting Supreme Court judge. In that encounter, two terrorists from Azamgarh involved in the Delhi blasts were gunned down by the State police.

“It is unacceptable to the Muslim community that innocent, educated young men should be picked up by law-enforcement agencies without any proof, to be released later by the courts for lack of evidence. The media highlights them as hardcore terrorists and their lives are tarnished forever. There should be a provision for compensation to such people,” Ulema Council convener Amir Rashidi Madani said.

Blaming political parties for not supporting them on the issue, Madani said that the Ulema Council would field two candidates from Azamgarh Sadar and Lalganj Lok Sabha seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. “We are also trying for a third alternative. A few parties have approached us for support. But we want that any alternative should be headed by the Ulema Council,” said Madani, whose son Aamir Talha was picked up by the Maharashtra ATS on terror charges. He was later released by the court.

The event was organised by the Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims, an umbrella organisation of five bodies and the Ulema Council of Azamgarh.