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Minority Panel chief says can't do much on release of Muslim youths; Khurshid silent

Saturday March 19, 2011 06:06:03 PM, & Agencies

Union Minister Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid delivering the keynote address at the Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions, organized by the National Commission for Minorities, in New Delhi on March 18, 2011.

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New Delhi: Even as the demand to release the Muslim youths was vociferously raised by Maharashtra State Minority Commission at the Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions held in New Delhi March 18, Minority Panel Chief said the commission could not do much in the case and Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid remained totally silent.


"The National Minority Commission is worried about the release of the Muslim youths arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case. But the commission does not have enough power to do much in the case", media reports quoted National Minority Commission Chief Wajahat Habibullah as saying.


He, however, warned that in the prevailing scenario "keeping these youths behind the bar is not fair" and it might lead to dangerous consequences.


The National Minority Commission had invited the heads of all the state minority commissions for the annual conference with a single agenda. Maharashtra State Minority Commission's one-point agenda at the meeting was the release of the Muslim youths arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case in the wake of Swami Aseemanand's confessional statement.


The demand, raised by Maharashtra Minority Commission Chairman Nasim Siddiqui in the conference, was vociferously supported by many participants including noted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. However, Minister of Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid remained totally silent on the issue, according to the media reports that headlined it in their today's editions.


During the meeting, Minority Commission Andhra Pradesh demanded compensation for the Muslim youths implicated in the Mecca Masjid blast and also demanded action against the erring police officers. But the conference could not divulge much even on this issue.


Meanwhile, the Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi concluded with a number of recommendations for improving the Minorities' conditions in the country.

At the conclusion of the Conference, Wajahat Habibullah presented the recommendations of the daylong Conference that included recommendations on education of Minorities - especially regarding scholarships, Multi-sectoral Development Programme and financing of schemes, Waqf properties, communal violence, cast census, and Prime Minister’s New 15 –Point Programme for the welfare of Minorities.

Recommendations regarding some other issue such as repeal of the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Act, unavailability of land for qabristan in many places in Punjab and Christians facing difficulties in getting marriage certificates were also made.

Habibullah and other members of the Commission called upon the State Minorities Commissions to approach it whenever they find that their persuasions are not bearing the desired fruits.

In his Valedictory Address Salman Khurshid appreciated the role played by the National Commission for Minorities and the State Minorities Commissions and clarified on many points that were raised during the Conference.






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Picture of the Day

President of India Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil addressing at the inauguration of the National Festival of Tribal Dances, ‘PRAKRITI’, in New Delhi on March 16, 2011. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Culture, Kum. Selja, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Kantilal Bhuria and Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Mahadev S. Khandela are also seen.

(Photo: Mukesh Kumar)



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