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Mumbai police bans Muslim reservation march from entering Azad Maidan
Saturday May 25, 2013 7:46 PM, Ather Shazan, ummid.com

In a surprise move, the Mumbai police on Friday banned the Muslim reservation march from entering Azad Maidan and hold the rally, the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) activists said in a press conference held at Marathi Patrakar Sangh today afternoon.

They said they had applied for the permission on April 30, but the Mumbai police at the last minute cancelled the permission citing the violence which erupted during a rally in February 2012.

"We had bee informed yesterday that our permission is cancelled and we ill no longer be allowed to enter Azad Maidan", Advocate Niyaz Lodhi said.

He said that it was a deliberate attempt to suppress their voice. He also questioned the timing of the decision.

"The decision to ban us from entering Azad Maidan is well timed. It was conveyed to us on Friday. It was done so, so that we cannot challenge it in the court as the next two days are holidays", he said.

"However", he said, "The paidal-march will continue and we will challenge the Mumbai police decision in court", he said.

More than 2000 people under the banner of Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) are walking to Mumbai demanding 20% reservation in government jobs and admission to government colleges and institutions.

The paidal-march which started from Malegaon last Friday on May 17, has reached Padgha near Kalyan covering a distance of around 230 kms. The march was supposed to end at Azad Maidan on May 27.

The organisers said that if the permission to organise rally at Azad Maidan can be given to others why cant' them.

"There was a huge rally on the same venue demanding reservation for Marathas on May 04. If permission can be given to them, why not to us" Haleem Siddiqui of Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) said.

He alleged that the decision to ban was taken out of political pressure pointing fingers at local Muslim leaders including Minority Development Department minister Arif Naseem Khan.
However Arif Naseem Khan denied the allegations.

"I came to know that the permission to the rally has been cancelled. But why should I do such thing. I am in favour of their dmand and support their cause", he said while talking to ummid.com.

Meanwhile, Addl. Commissioner of Police Qaiser Khalid said that the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) was never given any permission to organise rallies anywhere in Mumbai. "There is no question of cancelling their permission. They were never given any such permission", he said over phone.

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