United Muslim Forum of AP puts charter of demand before political party before extending

By Mohammed Siddique, TwoCircles.net,

Hyderabad : The United Muslim Forum, comprising of several Muslim religious and social organization of Andhra Pradesh, has come out with a five point charter of demands of Muslim community as a basis for discussions with all the political parties except the communal forces like the BJP.

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Unveiling the charter at a well attended public meeting called by the Forum, its president and respected religious figure Maulana Hameeduddin Auqil Hussami said that whichever political party accepts this charter of demand and gives commitment for its implementation, the Forum will ask Muslims of Andhra Pradesh to support the party in the next month’s Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Maulana Abdul Raheem Qureshi is addressing a meeting of United Muslim From in Hyderabad on Friday night after releasing the charter of demands to all the parties before the elections

The five major demands of the United Muslim Forum include ensuring the security of Muslims, specially from the atrocities by the police in the name of fighting against terrorism, protection of waqf properties worth thousands of crore of rupees, reservation for Muslims in government jobs and education, top priority to the education and improving the condition of Urdu schools and monitoring committee for the implementation of the welfare schemes of the government with representation of Muslims on it.

The Forum comprises of organizations like Tameer-e-Millat, Amarate Millat-e-Islami, Andhra Pradesh, Jamia Nizamia, and the representatives of Shia and Mehdvi communities. It also has the support of politically influential Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM). Jamat-e-Islami was also part of the Forum in 2004 but later it parted ways.

Maulana Hussami recalled that in 2004, leaders of the Forum had traveled 40,000 kms across the state to support the Congress party without any condition. “Our goal at that time was to remove the communal forces and their allies from the power and with the support and cooperation of Muslims we achieved the goal”, he said.

“But this time the Forum will discuss the charter of demands of the Muslim community before deciding whom to support in the elections”, he said.

A section of audience

Maulana Abdur Raheem Qureshi, president Tameer-e-Millat and Secretary All India Muslim Personal Law Board, who briefed the meeting about the charter, said that security of Muslims specially the youth continues to be the biggest problem as the police was working in a biased and prejudiced manner targeting the Muslim youth, torturing them and framing them in the cases of terrorism.

To prevent this the charter has suggested that a judicial commission should be set up to enquire into the Mecca Masjid blast of May 18, 2007, to find out whether the police did its job impartially and why it made several Muslims an accused in this case and tortured them.

The charter demanded that there should be a new law to punish those communal police officers who are found to be responsible for framing innocent people. There should be a provision to pay heavy compensation to such innocent victims.

In case of communal riots due to the failure of police in discharging its duty, the district and block level police officials should be held responsible and they should be suspended immediately pending the inquiry.

The Forum has also demanded that guidelines should be issue to the media not to publish the reports from unnamed sources which can tarnish the image of any individual or a community in cases of terrorism. “If they get any such report from any police source they should inform the Chief Secretary about it”, said Maulana Qureshi.

On the issue of Waqf property, the charter demands strict arrangements for the protection and preservation of the original documents of the properties and the Revenue and Waqf record should be reconciled every three years. The forum demanded that the government should return all those Waqf properties which are in the control of government departments and agencies.

On the issue of reservations for Muslims, the forum appreciated Andhra Pradesh government for 4% reservation but demanded to be increased to at least 5% or to the proportion of Muslim population.

Maulana Raheem Qureshi pointed out that Justice Ranganath Mishra appointed by the UPA government had given its report recommending reservations to the Muslim community but the government did not publish it. “We demand that the report of the commission should be published and implemented” he said.

Interestingly, this is second such charter of demands to come from Muslims in Andhra Pradesh. Earlier the Jamat-e-Islami Andhra Pradesh also came out with its own charter and it was discussing it with the Congress, TDP and the PRP.

But it includes not only the problem of Muslims but also of the farmers, rural poor and other sections of society.