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Why the hue and cry, asks Shahi Imam

Wednesday 15 February 2006

Staff Reporter

Why hue and cry against survey?

NEW DELHI: Emphasising that there was nothing wrong with the United Progressive Alliance Government’s proposal to conduct a survey of Muslims in the Army, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid on Tuesday said it should also come up with a White Paper on their representation in the defence forces.

"We would like to see more and more Muslims to be part of the Army. Why should a hue and cry be raised about the survey when the Army has a Sikh Regiment and a Rajputana Regiment. The number of Muslims in the Army has been rather low and there should be attempts to increase it."

The Imam was addressing a press conference here to announce the holding of a national conference of Muslims in the Jama Masjid complex on March 18.

A major demand would be packages for the victims of the Gujarat riots on the lines of what was awarded to victims of the 1984 Sikh riots.

"We welcome the Government’s decision to provide justice to the affected Sikh families. But why should Muslims be sidelined and not given justice? Whether it’s Mumbai or Meerut, why have Muslims not been given a fair deal?"

Also on the agenda was the demand for an amendment in the 1981 Act to restore the minority character of Aligarh Muslim University, apart from passing a comprehensive legislation for protection of its status.

Other demands would be the establishment of a Central madrasa board and full authority to the Minorities Financial Development Corporation.

The Shahi Imam said Muslim leaders should come together and fight the challenges facing the community.

See online : The Hindu

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