Muslims face discrimination, Wajahat Habibullah to India Today scribe M Waqas
OT, August 29, 2012 06:27 IST
Okhla Times Reporter/Okhla
In an exclusive interview to India Today (Hindi edition August 15) Wajahat Habibullah, chairperson of the National commission on minorities discussed about training for the police force, discrimination against Muslims and riots.
Speaking to deputy Associate Editor Md Waqas of India Today, a resident of Johri Farm, Okhla, Habibullah said especial training should be given to the police force so that it is sensitized vis-à-vis Muslims.
When asked by Waqas, who before joining IT, was senior News Editor Hindustan Delhi-NCR edition, whether the police and agencies discriminate against Muslims, Habibullah said: “After studying many cases, the commission has found that during communal riots the police force acts in a partisan way. Muslims face discrimination. The representation of minorities, particularly Muslims, in the police force compared to their population is less. It is only 4 per cent. Jammu and Kashmir is not included in it.”
To support his statement of existing discrimination against Muslims, Habibullah referred to the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad.
He said after the blast the media and the police pointed fingers at a particular community and its youths were arrested. “Some 20-22 youths were incarcerated and even confessions were taken from them. We took up their case. State minority commission appointed leading lawyer Raj Mohan to investigate into the matter and it was found that the boys were not involved. During that time Asimanand confessed about his role in Maelegaon. He said his men were involved in Hyderabad also. This led to the release of all arrested youths. Police had tortured these boys to take confession. I spoke to chief minister (Kiran) Reddy for taking action against policemen involved in the case, but the CM did nothing.”
He said the police force is responsible for depicting Muslims as criminals. “There is an urgent need to train the police force so that their thought against minorities, particularly Muslims, could be changed. When I went to Gopalgarh I found that most of the policemen were Gujjar despite Mew in majority there. If there is a fight between Gujjar and Mew then it is obvious that Gujjar will side with Gujjar. All told, a government employee should not take sides. S/He has no religion. Everybody should be treated equally. But in India this doesn’t happen.”
About West Bengal, Habibullah said Muslim population in the state is 25 per cent but only 4 per cent Muslims are in government jobs.
“We are not at good terms with Jadavpur University. The committee had recommended one Pervez for lecturer but the university didn’t recruit him. Not a single employee is Muslim there. There is discrimination there.”
He mentioned that he has written to then Home Minister PC Chidambaram about training of police forces.
“The changes have to come from within the police force,” he said.
Also, Habibullah talked about riots in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh that is ruled by Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Photo of Wajahat Habibullah via Wikipedia
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