UP Minority Commission Seeks Ban on Tablighi Jamaat, Muslim Intellectuals Say There Is No Ground For the Ban
Syed Ali Ahmed | India Tomorrow
New Delhi, April 24—In what could be called a surprise move of the Uttar Pradesh Minority Commission that has asked the Yogi Adityanath government to ban the Tablighi Jamaat, holding it responsible for spread of Corona virus in the state particularly in the Muslim community, Muslim intellectuals and advocates have said that there is no ground to ban the Jamaat.
The Commission also asked to penalize the Jamaat members according to law.
Among the reasons to ban the Jamaat, the Commission alleged that it had connections with a Pakistan-based terrorist outfit.
The decision was taken in a meeting held through video-conferencing in which the commission unanimously agreed to ban the Tablighi Jamaat in the state. The meeting was attended by Manoj Kumar Masih, Syyed Iqbal Haider, Parminder Singh and Sofia Ahmed, out of a total of eight members. Parminder is one of the signatories of the letter sent to the government by the commission asking to ban the Jamaat in the BJP ruled state.
The letter addressed to the state Chief Secretary, R. K. Tewari, said that 1400 people are corona positive in Uttar Pradesh.
Giving reasons for demanding a ban, they said that out of a total of 1400 Covid-19 positive, 900 are having connections with the Jamaat, suggesting that the Jamaat activists are the main source for spread of pandemic in the state. They are also tarnishing the image of the Muslim community, the letter said.
Another reason seeking ban is that “the Jamaat activists are hidden in Muslim areas, mosques and madrassas and spreading the virus”.
The letter also alleged that its activists attack police, and medical team who treat them in hospitals.
Talking to mediapersons, Syyed Iqbal Haider said that the Muslims did not need this Jamaat. “This has become a major reason for tarnishing the image of Muslims and making other communities enemy of the Muslims. Their activities are doubtful”, he said. When asked if there was any discussion about Tablighi Jamaat with the minister concerned in Uttar Pradesh government, he said that it was an administrative job. Ministry is not involved in this and that is why the letter has been written to the secretary.
When asked that if the decision of the commission was based on rumours about the Jamaat circulating in the social media, Haider said that the decision was taken unanimously by the Commission members.
Reacting against the commission’s letter, Muslim intellectuals said that the UP Minority Commission had become government’s agent. This has been done to please the government. The Commission should have been dissolved as it does not work for upliftment of minorities. Chief of Rashtriya Ulema Council Maulana Aamir Rashidi said the Commission’s letter ignored the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement who had said that the Corona should not be given the colour of religion and caste.
He said that the letter confirmed that the commission wanted to give the Covid-19 a communal colour. Having seen this, the state government should dissolve the commission.
Peace Party chief Dr Mohammed Ayyub said that the Commission was buttering the state government by recommending to ban the Jamaat in the state. The Commission thinks that its responsibility is to keep the government always satisfied and happy.
Senior Advocate Zafaryab Jeelani said that the Commission’s recommendations would not stand in the court. He asked on which basis the government would ban the Jamaat. “Does it have any evidence against the Jamaat? What is its offence? Is Jamaat involved in anti-government activity? The ban can be imposed against the Jamaat if it is found involved in any anti national activity”, he said.