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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Maulana says he offered prayer for Afzal Guru

Presley Thomas, Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, February 27, 2013
First Published: 01:14 IST(27/2/2013) | Last Updated: 12:15 IST(27/2/2013)

A special branch constable lurks around and notes down the name and mobile number of every visitor to the Jamiat-ul-Banat madrassa for girls in a Hyderabad bylane.

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But this is no surprise as the religious school is headed by Maulana Mohammed Naseeruddin, considered by central and state counter-terrorist units as the ideologue who influenced many youths into militancy or terrorism.

Excerpts from an interview:

Your name always crops up when there's a blast in Hyderabad. Why?
It started in December 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished. I gathered around 400 youths and staged a rasta-roko protest at Abids Circle and offered prayers. I was booked under TADA.

Since then I've been under the radar of intelligence agencies. Our democracy gives us the right to protest but the police and intelligence agencies see it differently.

I came under the scanner in 1998 when they arrested me because I harboured a Kashmiri youth. I always held that the people of Kashmir should be given the option to choose whom they want to support.

Your name is synonymous with hate speeches. How do you live with the tag?
There is some truth in associating me with hate speeches. But it is a half-truth. I incite people against Americans and Israelis, who are our enemies. Even the RSS is our enemy.

I offered namaz when Afzal Guru was executed because I believe he wasn't given a fair trial. It doesn't matter to me which community the person belongs too. I even attend the funerals of naxalites killed in one-sided encounters.

Do you advocate terrorism too?
The culture of bomb blasts started after 1992. In the beginning, the blasts were carried out by Muslim youths to avenge the Babri demolition.

In Mumbai, the Shiv Sena had made it tough for Muslims to live.

They couldn't even board the suburban train. Then the blasts were done in Dawood Ibrahim's name, ensuring Muslims' safety in Mumbai.

But after that the blasts on the Samjhauta Express, at Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and Ajmer were done by Hindutva advocates. So there are two kinds of terrorism in India.

I don't advocate killing innocent people.

Your grandson Obaid-ur-Rahman was arrested for having links with the Indian Mujahideen...
Obaid has been very close to me. He grew up without a father and I took care of their family. I don't think he has the brains to work for a big gang like the Indian Mujahideen.

Yes, he was angry at the TDP corporator from Dhoolpet for disrupting the prayer service at Mecca Masjid by ringing bells. He told me he'd kill Raja with a knife. I don't know if he has any bigger connection than this.

But if he has, he will face the consequences.

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