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Braving heat, thousands protest in Aurangabad against illegal arrests

Saturday April 13, 2013 02:23:02 PM, & Agencies

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Aurangabad: Thousands of people including women and children on Friday braved the extremely hot weather to attend a protest march organised by the Kul Jamaati Muslim Numainda Council against the police atrocities especially the indiscriminate arrest of Muslim youths in the name of fighting terrorism.


According to a rough estimates, over 25,000 people including about 2000 women, participated in the protest march which was supported by over half a dozen NGOs including All India Backward (SC, ST, and OBC) and Minority Communities Employees' Federation (BAMCEF), Bharat Mukti Morcha, Rashtriya Prem Samiti, Shivrajya Paksh, Aurangabad Samajik Manch and others.


The protest march against the police atrocities especially the arrests of Muslim youths in the name of fighting terrorism was called after a local youth Mirza Rizwan Baig, who was said to be a witness in the 2012 Pune blast case, committed suicide last Sunday allegedly because of the harassment by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).


A replica showing youths in prison was also part of the "silent protest" march which began from The Jama Masjid after Friday prayers.


The protesters were carrying placards and slogans written on card sheets that said: 'Beqasooron ki giraftari band karo, sarkari dehshat gardi band karo' (Stop arresting the innocents, stop state terrorism).


At around 03:30 in the afternoon the protesters led by Owais Ahmed, Col Durwesh Nehri, Mufti naeem, javed Quarishi, Mujahid Khan, Ajmal Khan, Salim Siddiqui and others handed over a memorandum to the Divisional Commissioner.


In the memorandum addressed to the president of India, it was demanded that the arrest of the Muslim youths on dubious ground should be stopped.


"It is a serious matter that the Muslims who are about 13% of the total population are continuously living under fear. Muslims are indiscriminately arrested, and at times are even killed in police custody", Owais Ahmed said citing the examples of Dr Mateen and Khwaja Yunus.


Recalling the suicide of Mirza Rizwan Baig, he said, "The fear is forcing Muslim youths to commit suicide." 


The state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) denied allegations that Mirza had committed suicide due to harassment by the agency.


The suicide however prompted spontaneous response when hundreds of people participated in the funeral of the deceased, and a bandh was called on very next day in Beed, the neighboring town from where Mirza belonged.




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