Jamia Nagar Returns to Normalcy
A shocking incident, reportedly, of desecration of the Holy Qur’an by policemen happened in the evening of September 22, in Batla House area of Okhla, New Delhi. The masses flared up instantly and in the course of events two policemen were beaten and the incensed mob attacked two police posts in the area.
A shocking incident, reportedly, of desecration of the Holy Qur’an by policemen happened in the evening of September 22, in Batla House area of Okhla, New Delhi. The masses flared up instantly and in the course of events two policemen were beaten and the incensed mob attacked two police posts in the area. The incident had the potentiality to reach uncontrollable situations had the political administration, police administration and the Muslim organisations of the area not acted responsibly. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, whose headquarters falls in the area acted promptly. Delhi zone of the Jamaat called several meetings of the leaders of different organisations, including several residents’ welfare associations of the neighbourhood, and social activists to assess the situation and check any further untoward incident.
A delegation comprising the leaders of these organisations and associations and the prominent persons of the locality met Sheila Dikshit, the chief minister of Delhi and apprised her about the prevailing situation and submitted a memorandum that was aimed at diffusing the charged atmosphere and bring in peace in the area. It also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister. The delegation was led by Mujtaba Farooq, secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and it comprised, inter alia, Ameeduzzaman Keranvi, Abdul Hameed Nomani, Musharraf Hussain, Feroz Khan Ghazi, Ather Karim Qidwai, Mansoor Ahmed, besides representatives of residents’ welfare associations of Zakir Bagh, Batla House, Abul Fazl Enclave part I and Part II, and persons representing Universal Peace Foundation and Bakhtiar Kaki Foundation.
Later another delegation led by Mujtaba Farooq had a meeting with DCP Anil Shukla and urged him to withdraw unnecessary large police force in the area, stop harassment of common people and rounding up of innocent persons. The DCP placed his assessment of the situation stating that no arrests were made after the day of the incident and the day following. He assured the delegation that the police force will be gradually reduced and there will not be interference in the daily routine of the citizens.
The assurances given by the chief minister and the DCP have been honoured and the police force has since been reduced noticeably. The DCP, further, attended a meeting of the representative citizenry of the locality in Nehru Guest House of Jamia Millia Islamia. These steps have led to the fast normalcy that has returned.
A major task for responsible persons in such charged atmosphere is to check irresponsible rumours that spread like jungle fire. The Delhi zone of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind organised daily meetings of socially concerned persons and deputed its workers to crosscheck the news of arrests and alleged harassments of the passers-by and innocent persons. Most of such “news” was found to be rumour.
The memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is as follows:
“Though several days have passed since the deplorable incident of September 22, the situation in the Jamia Nagar (Okhla) locality has not yet become normal. People are living in a state of apprehension and fear and an atmosphere of unease prevails. Certain measures need to be taken by the authorities; otherwise the discontent of people may lead to undesirable consequences. Accordingly we, as concerned citizens of Delhi and representatives of various organizations and residents’ welfare associations, demand the following:
“The unnecessarily large police force posted at various nooks and corners be withdrawn; so that a message of normalcy is conveyed.
“Harassment of common people by the police; which takes the form of unnecessary questioning of passers by, and rounding up of innocents; should stop.
“All those arrested in the wake of September 22 incident, be immediately released.
“No further arrest should be made and witch hunting by the police should end.
“The investigation of the matter should be handed over to CBI so that an impartial and efficient investigation is speedily completed.
“A sincere effort by the administration to diffuse the situation will deserve the cooperation of all citizens.”