Monday, 3 September 2007

Muslim clergy under flak for silent on torture cases

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 3: About 50 women relatives of bomb blast suspects now in police custody on Monday laid siege to the residence of senior Islamic scholar Moulana Hameeduddin Aquil Hussami for over five hours holding him responsible for their "fate".
Moulana Aquil, who is regarded as "Amir-e-Millat" (leader of the community) by lakhs of Muslims down the Vindhyas, had actively campaigned for Congress during the State Assembly elections held in May 2004. He shared dais with senior Congress leaders including Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy.
As a thanksgiving to the Moulana, the Congress government appointed his son-in-law Raheemuddin Ansari as the president of the AP State Urdu Academy, which is a minister of State rank.
The women relatives demanded that Raheemuddin Ansari quit the Urdu Academy as the Congress government had been "targeting" Muslims and branding them as "terrorists and anti-nationals". They held the Moulana responsible for their "fate" and the "sorry state of affairs" because he had supported the Congress and openly appealed to Muslims not to vote for the Telugu Desam.
The women came in black burqas at around 1.00 pm and continued their agitation till 5.00 pm. They left the residence only after Moulana Aquil agreed with them that "there was no difference between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party".
The Moulana addressed the agitating women for about 30 minutes. He said he himself had become a victim of the Congress government after the police raided Darul Uloom Hyderabad, a madarasa run by him.
"We supported the Congress with the hope that it would bring a secular government. But it is treading the path of the previous BJP-led NDA government. We do not see any difference between the BJP and the Congress," he said. The women dispersed only after the Moulana assured them that he would lead a delegation of Muslim elders to the chief minister and find out the whereabouts of the suspects arrested in connection with the blasts in the city.
Moulana Aquil made several unsuccessful attempts to contact on telephone Director-General of Police MA Basith and Hyderabad city police commissioner Balwinder Singh. The Moulana was told by the DGP and CP's offices that they were busy and would not come on line. This had further irked him.
No sooner Moulana Aquil announced that he saw no difference between the Congress and the BJP than Telugu Desam supremo N Chandrababu Naidu deputed party politburo member and MP SM Lal Jan Basha to the residence of the Moulana. Basha spent some time with the Moulana and told him that the TD had never troubled Muslims when it was in power for nine years.
"There were no communal violence. Law and order situation was well under control. We looked after the welfare of minorities and ensured that there was no trouble to them. The TD government did not pick up innocent Muslim youths. No madarasa was raided during our rule," Basha said.
Meanwhile, the police continued with their raids on madarasas. On Monday the police raided Al Mahadal Islami, a madarasa managed by noted Islamic scholar Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani at Shaheennagar.

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