Batla House-resident Amanatullah Khan is a community leader. He is one of the first youth leaders in the locality to turn up on the spot to protest against alleged police attempt to illegally pick up Muslim youths from the locality in name of war against terror. The 38-year-old Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) alumnus Khan is always willing to serve the locals. He misses no opportunity in siding with residents against raising important issues like encroachment on roadsides, opening of quality schools and more government-run hospitals in the deprived locality. Khan, who is a LJP national general secretary and is girding to contest the Delhi Assembly elections 2013, has a blueprint to develop Okhla. In an exclusive interview with OKHLA TIMES, he talks about his plans to change the area for good. Excerpts:
Are you contesting the Assembly elections this time?
Yes I am and I am well prepared for the big moment. (Khan, who is always dressed in an immaculate white Kurta and pyjama fought the 2008 Assembly elections but lost. Over the years he has worked hard and he has succeeded in having a fan following in the locality.)
What are issues that you would be raising in the elections?
There are many issues. But foremost among them is witch-hunting of Muslims youths of this locality. At regular interval the police land in this locality and illegally pick up youth on alleged terrorism charges. I want this to come to an end. The harassment should end. Safety of Muslims is a major issue. Also, I would raise the issue of inquiry into the Batla House encounter. I will work to improve the image of the locality. Muslim reservation and terrorism issues are high on my agenda.
So you will be taking anti-police stand.
I am against the police for not implementing the DK Basu guidelines when it comes to kidnapping of Muslim youths. If police do good work I will certainly support them. I support public, police meeting so that many issues could be resolved.
What about other issues like traffic jam, encroachment, lack of schools and graveyards?
These issues are also close to my heart. I assure the residents that if voted to power funds will be utilized. All these years most of these issues have gone unsolved because of our leadership. Our leaders are not ready to raise these issues with the government, DDA, BSES and other government departments and hence there is a gap and misunderstanding. There is enough land in the locality for opening a quality government school and hospital. Nearly 14 bighas land is there for graveyard. In Dhobi Ghat enough space is there. We have to utilize them.
As you know that there are a few schools in the area. Do you have a plan to change things?
I know this fact and I will work on education. Many students of these areas don’t get admission in public and convent schools. There is an urgent need to open a quality school in the locality and the land is there. We have to work on it. A hospital is also required.