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CBMs soon, PM promises Muslim leaders

The delegation flagged the issues of community profiling, reservations and empowerment of Muslims, reports Saroj Nagi.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2008 01:15 IST
Saroj Nagi
Saroj Nagi
Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured a delegation of Muslim leaders of coming out with confidence building measures and a confidence building mechanism to dispel misgivings about the community.

The delegation flagged the issues of community profiling, reservations and empowerment of Muslims.

It demanded scrapping of reservations based on religious grounds, a subquota for Muslims as they have not been getting their due under the OBC category and putting the entire community as a socially most backward group in the OBC.

In a memorandum to the PM, they also demanded that the report of the Justice Ranganathan commission be tabled in Parliament be made public and its recommendations immediately implemented. The wish-list included proper amendments to the Haj Act, reconstitution of the Waqf Development Corporation and institution of a committee to study alternative banking system.

The delegation, which included Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Rahman Khan, Maulana Qari Mohammad Usman, president of Jamait ulama-I-Hind, deputy rector of Darul Uloom, Deoband as well as representatives of several Muslim groups, NGOs and intellectuals, urged the PM to intervene with the Home Ministry to see that there is no witch hunt of the community, ensure that there is no publication of the initial investigation in a manner that could tarnish the entire community and work out a mechanism for confidence building with the community.

The memorandum called for giving Muslims their due share in various government bodies through nominations as they are not properly represented so far.

The leaders also lodged a protest that the U-turn in foreign policy taken by the NDA with regard to West Asia has not been reversed by the UPA. "The criminal silence on the present aggression by Israel on Lebanon and Palestine has shocked the peace loving nation…We demand a review of the policies concerning Israel," they said, adding that it was time a tough warning was delivered to Israel. The delegation also underlined that India should stand by Iran which has been a traditional ally and neighbour.