Mumbai (July 26, 2012): A group of NGOs met in Mumbai on July 26 to assess and discuss the recent communal violence in Assam and Uttar Pradesh. The social and educational NGO leaders have strongly condemned the Assam violence in which Muslims have been subject to a planned ethnic cleansing. They urged the central government to immediately take strong and decisive action to control the burning of Muslim villages and killing of members of the community as the Gogoi-led state government is virtually failed to protect its innocent citizens. The community leaders have termed ‘tagging Indian citizens who have been living in Assam for centuries as “illegal immigrants or Bangladeshi settlers” most unfortunate’.
Maulana Mahmood Ahmad Khan Daryabadi, general secretary All India Ulama Council, Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, director Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre, Mr. Farid Shaikh, president Mumbai Aman Committee, Dr Azimuddin, president Movement for Human Welfare, Mr. Haroon Muzawala, Trustee Khair-e Ummat Trust and Maulana Ejaz Khashmiri have also said that the growing incidents of violence against Muslims in Bareilly, UP, Rajasthan and in other parts of the country are a cause of great concern for the minority community. They along with all present NGOs members unanimously expressed their deep sense of distress at the growing incidents of communal violence against Muslims and urged the government to take urgent steps to prevent such cases and book the culprits under the law.
The NGO heads have also decried the unbalanced reporting by some media houses in the Kokrajhar – Dhubri violence which are deliberately trying to show the Muslim victim as “illegal settlers”. They said some media reporting are far from the truth and biased. When Muslims were attacked, killed and driven away from their homes by the same Bodo tribal in 1993-94 Kokrajhar riots, they got to settle in other places with government permission – by the time they have built their villages. But later following the declaration of Bodo Territorial (Autonomous) Council (BTC) an outcry is raised that these Muslims are newcomers on the land and thus afresh ethnic cleansing is launched to avail maximum area for BTC.
The speakers pointed out that these riots are a recurrence of those that happened in 1982-83 at Nelli and 1993-94 in Kokrajhar. They urged the central and the state governments to take urgent steps to halt such communal flare ups which cause untold suffering to the local Assamese Muslims. Muslim NGOs have strongly demanded that the riot victims who have been ousted from their villages be rehabilitated in their original villages. It is time to find out a permanent amicable solution to the Assam’s citizenship problem sooner than later, argued the Muslim leader in their press statement.