Thousands of Muslims walked down to the divisional commissioner office in Aurangabad, under the banner of the Muslim Numainda Council, (Muslim Representative Council,) and demanded that the Anti Terrorists Squad (ATS) set up by the Maharashtra state be abolished now that there was enough evidence that it was terrorizing the minorities.
Interestingly the delegation of the council was led by Azar Mohinuddin, former principal of the Maulana Azad College here, a much respected Muslim, not known to be a hardliner.
Though the Muslim council's silent protest march was mainly to protest the attack on the Mecca Masjid at Hyderabad last week, the council mostly took up issues of increasing attacks in mosques in Marathwada and Malegaon, and sought a CBI probe into all such incidents, in their memorandum submitted to the divisional commissioner, Sanjay Kumar.
It was under considerable pressure from the Muslim community that the police finally allowed the council the silent protest march fearing it could lead to a law and order situation in this communally sensitive township. However, the organisers, through placards and continuous public announcement, ensured that emotions did not flare up during the march that began from Jama Masjid on Tuesday afternoon.