By-Moonis Ahmad and Babu
A solidarity procession was organized by the newly formed Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims along with other Muslim advocacy groups to voice their concern against terrorism and police action on 26th September, Friday at Jantar Mantar.
The rally was attended by major Muslim organizations, leftists, intellectuals, students and social activists. The leaders condemned all disruptive terrorist acts and serial bombings as well as the incidents of State bias.
“The 19th September Batla house encounter of suspected terrorists had created enough commotion amongst the residents of Okhla and Muslims in general,” confesses Irfanullah Khan, chairman of Jamia Nagar coordination committee. “Earlier it was madarsas, and now educated Muslim youths are being targeted by the police. The aim is to bottleneck them educationally and economically.”
While addressing the gathering, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, severely criticized the media for demonizing and labeling Jamia Millia Islamia and Okhla as the hubs of terrorism. He said, “If Atif was behind Delhi bomb blasts, then who is to be blamed for the blasts at Nanded, Ajmer Dargah and Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad.”
Abu Asim Azmi, Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh opined: “The media has tarnished the image of Muslims, Islam and azmis (a title used by the Muslims from Azamgarh) in Mumbai and Delhi.” He further added that “Azamgarh has produced patriots like Maulana Shibli Nomani, Kaifi Azmi and Brigadier Usman”
Another JNU union member Monisa voiced that all the resistance movements in India should unite. She further added that all the marginalized voices, whether Muslims, dalits, adivasis and Christians should fight for their rights.
The rally witnessed loud sloganeering by the emotionally charged participants against police, media and the state. However, the leaders promptly controlled the mob.
Later in the evening, some leaders including Muslim Majlise Mushawarat president Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, Dr. Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind went to the PMO where they handed a memorandum listing their demands.
For most students like Vikas of Jamia Millia Islamia the procession was important because it brought all concerned citizens on a common platform