Azamgarh will not celebrate Eid this year. The town is in mourning for Atif Amin and Mohammad Sajid, the two local boys — allegedly members of Indian Mujahideen — who were shot dead by Delhi Police in an encounter on September 19.
Atif and Sajid allegedly organised serial blasts all over the country. But Azamgarh refuses to buy the story.
The Muslim community here believes the encounter was a sham. In a clear sign of anger, all the mosques in Sarai Meer, Takia, Mubarakpur and Nizamabad have hoisted black flags.
Muslims offered prayers on the last Friday of Ramzan, wearing black bands. They later marched to the district magistrate’s office, demanding a judicial probe into the encounter. “We will perform only the mandatory customs, and not celebrate Eid,” said Liyaqat Khan, a social activist in Sarai Meer. “No pleasantries will be exchanged this year,” said Tariq Shamim of Sarjanpur, where most of the alleged IM terrorists came from.
These decisions were taken at a meeting of religious clerics of Azamgarh on Thursday night. On Friday, a huge procession walked to the mosques, wearing black bands, to offer Friday prayers. Not a single Muslim-owned shop opened in Azamgarh town as a gesture of solidarity and protest.
Imam of Jama Masjid Maulana Intekhab Alam in his Khutba (sermon), called upon both the Muslim and Hindu communities to rise against the “injustice.” Maulana Alam also accused the media. He said, “The media played only the stories fed by the police. It didn’t see Sajid (gunned down by Delhi Police in the Jamianagar encounter) had gone to Delhi only two months before the shootout. can anyone become a terrorist in such a short time?” he asked.
Maulana Amir Rishaadi Madni, who led the march to the district magistrate’s office on Friday, said only a judicial inquiry can bring out the truth. “We believe it was bogus and intentional. the community will fight till the end to get their names cleared,” he said, adding, “If the fight means not celebrating Eid, so be it.”