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Published On:17 May 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

SDPI to intensify campaign for release of under-trial prisoners

By Pervez Bari

Kolkata: Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) will intensify campaign for the release of Muslims, tribals and rights activists languishing in jails being falsely accused of terror charges under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA), and other anti-people laws.

The SDPI has been highlighting the issue through various programmes since last one year. The new phase of nationwide political campaign under the caption “Release the terror accused innocents; Repeal the terror law UAPA” will begin with a mass rally at Jamia Nagar in New Delhi next month on June 9th. This decision was taken in the National Working Committee, (NWC), meeting of the party which was held at Kolkata on May. The NWC meeting was presided over by the national president A. Sayeed.

The meeting observed that a large number of innocent persons remain in prisons and their trials are indefinitely delayed. It is revealed by study reports that in all states the percentage of Muslim prisoners far exceeds their population percentage. Along with Muslims, tribals and right activists are also being imprisoned falsely implicating in extremism cases in some parts of the country. They are repeatedly denied bail in the name of UAPA provisions even after no concrete evidence could be produced to justify their detention. The campaign will cover majority of states and will include programmes like pamphlet distribution, protest rallies and public meetings in the following months.

The meeting reviewed the ongoing National Reservation Campaign which was inaugurated on April 14th, the Social Justice Day, at Kolkata. The Central Government and majority of state governments are not ready to give reservation to Muslims and other religious minorities though Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission report has recommended the same that was tabled in the parliament as back as December 2009. Other than the lip services repeatedly offered by a few minority leaders of the Congress party, the UPA government has not yet initiated any steps for its implementation. Other political parties also are not showing any interest in the issue of Muslim reservation. The fact that the Parliament has not even witnessed a serious discussion about the issue illustrates the apathy of mainstream political parties. On the state governments level, the moves seen in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal has also proved to be mere political gimmicks to gather Muslim votes. The NWC meeting of SDPI has decided to keep the issue alive and mobilize masses in different states so that the demand for Muslim Reservation will be a forefront issue at the time of next Lok Sabha elections.

Those who took part in the discussions were Samkutty Jackob (National Vice President), Prof. Naznin Begum (National Vice President), Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan (National Vice President), Adv. Sajid Siddiqui (National Treasurer), Afsar Pasha (National General Secretary), Abdul Majeed Faizy (National General Secretary), E. Abubacker (Ex-President SDPI), Mrs. Yasmin Farooqui, and other national and states leaders.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@yahoo.co.in]

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