TODAY -

Ulama threatens stir against Imam's detention, AMPWA appeals for calm
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 26 2013 : While Jamiat-i-Ulama Manipur has strongly criticised continuous detention of Imam Hafeez Abdul Kalam and threatened to launch agitation if the individual is not released without any condition, All Manipur Muslims (Meitei Pangal) Welfare Association (AMPWA) appealing to all concerned to exercise maximum restraint questioned intention of the State Government to acquire homestead lands inhabited by various ethnic groups for setting up a bank.

Demanding immediate release of Imam Hafeez Abdul Kalam of Mayang Imphal Bengoon, Jamiat Ulama-i-Manipur said it would be constrained to launch intense agitation if the Governent does not honour its humble plea.

speaking to mediapersons at Manipur Press Club today, Ulama Imphal West president Maulana Abdul Gaffar contended that Imam Hafeez s/o Abdul Rahman was rounded up on July 22 by a police team while the Muslim cleric was attending a religious event related to the ongoing Ramdhan (fast) observance.

Noting that on the day the Imam was arrested there was an altercation between the police and residents of Mantripukhri as the latter opposed land demarcation activities, Gaffar said Imam Hafeez was conducting the religious event organised by Madrassa Darul Uloom, Haoreibi when some policemen dragged him out of the Mantri-pukhri mosque.

Asserting that Imam Hafeez was not involved in the police-public skirmish as he was deeply engrossed in reading the holy Quran to the gathering, the Ulama president further informed that Imam Hafeez was specifically invited for second Ramdhan observance.

Alleging that State police have already earned the undesired reputation of framing charges after arrest of innocent persons, he reiterated that various forms of agitation would be launched in case the Imam is not released with immediate effect.

Representatives of Mayang Imphal Muslim Welfare Association, Manipur Muslim Welfare Organisation and All Manipur Muslim Students' Organisation were also present at the media briefing.

Meanwhile, in his appeal to the people of Manipur by quoting Mahatma Gandhi's "A Civilization is judged by the way it treats its Minorities", AMPWA president Alhaj Md Akhtar Hussain highlighted that the State Government's policy for acquisition of homestead lands at Mantripukhri is inhabited by ethnic groups mostly belonging to the economically backward minority communities such as Muslims, Bengalese, Nepalese, Biharis and Christians.

strongly condemning the act of setting a Police Gypsy ablaze on July 22 by the protestors, he also strongly condemned the raid conducted by the police team in and around the Masjid and pulling away Masjid properties without informing authority concerned.

Describing Chief Minister of Manipur as a man of action as well as father figure and conveying that one should never quarrel or make a father figure angry, Akhtar Hussain also suggested calmness even under duress as the CM is also an individual always committed to the development of the Minorities.

The Government always intends to develop minorities by allowing them to settle in and around the developmental area of the capital city, he observed adding that surveying and measuring land does not mean that the land shall be acquired and the inhabitants would be evicted and rendered homeless.

The Government needs to put up some possibilities from where it can select the most appropriate one.

The Chief Minister clearly understands which one is the suitable place for development of the RBI Branch.

The Government is of the Minorities and for the Minorities and it clearly understands that setting up an RBI Branch office in Manipur is welcomed by the people but rendering hundreds of backward minority people homeless for setting up an RBI office is not the symptom of kindness expected by the minorities from the majority community in the State, elaborated an AMPWA statement issued by the president.

Drawing attention of the Chief Minister to review the proposed acquisition of homestead lands at Mantripukhri in the interest of the minorities in particular and the people of Manipur in general who had been flourished together in the soil from time immemorial, the AMPWA President expressed that it is very much surprised and confused why the Government of Manipur is targeting this particular residential colony of the minorities only instead of utilizing many Government khash-lands which are available at Lamphelpat, Yaralpat, slopelands of Nongmaiching hills, hillocks/ranges which are lying useless extending from Mantripukhri to Iroisemba passing through the heart of Imphal City.

When important Government establishments could be set up and efficiently function on or along hill ranges in such hilly States like Nagaland, Meghalaya, Darjeeling (Gorkhaland), etc, the Government of Manipur focused on development activities at populated areas lack justification, the president opined.

If the eviction drive at Mantripukhri persist all non-aborigines like Biharis, Nepalese and Bengalese shall be rendered homeless because they had been settling down in Manipur for more than two hundred years and they have no other places in the country to land their feet, highlighted the AMPWA statement.

Looking after the minorities with proper safeguard and protection is a symbol of development, peaceful co-existence, a message of prosperity in the Nation.

Mahatma Gandhi devoted two-thirds of his life-span for the development of the backward communities in India.

Why should we deviate from his line of action as a citizen of India?, posed the president.

On the otherhand, a meeting convened today by Jamiat Ulama-i-Manipur at Babupara has strongly condemned land acquisition intention of the State Government to set up the RBI branch at Mantripukhri.

Urging the State Government to review its land acquisition process/decision, a Jamiat release issued by its president Moulana Sayeed Ahmed said the meeting resolved to submit a memorandum to the CM, who is also the Minister in-charge of Minorities, to select suitable site(s) at another location.


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