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Arif Naseem denies 'sabotage', says in favour of Muslim reservation
Monday May 27, 2013 5:52 PM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

Maharashtra Minister of Minority Development Department Arif Naseem Khan Sunday vehemently denied any role in the banning of Muslim Reservation Federation's paidal-march to Mumbai's Azad Maidan.

"There is no truth in the allegations against me. In fact I am in favour of the Muslim reservation in the state. I support their cause", he said while talking to ummid.com on phone.

Arif Naseem Khan was responding to the allegations by the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) activists who after they were banned from entering Mumbai's Azad Maidan blamed Arif Naseem Khan and other Muslim ministers in the government of 'sabotaging' their campaign.

He said that his ministry has appointed single member Mehmoodur Rehman Committee to assess the socio-economic and educational condition of Muslims.

"A single member Mehmoodur Rehman Committee is due to submit its report. Among other things as regard to the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in Maharashtra, the committee will also convey its opinion on reservation", he said.

He said after the submission of the Mehmoodur Rehman committee report, he will fight with the government for reservation.

"I firmly believe that in line with other states, the Maharashtra government should also announce quota for Muslims. Let the Mehmoodur Rehman committee submit its report. Based on its findings, we will fight with the government for reservation", he said.

More than 2,000 Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) activists are walking to Mumbai demanding 20% reservation for Muslims in government jobs and in admissions to government colleges. The 300-kms long paidal-march which started from Malegaon on May 17 was supposed to end at Mumbai's Azad Maidan on May 27.

However, when the march reached near Bhiwandi, after covering around 250 kms on foot, they were informed by the Mumbai police that they cannot enter Mumbai and hold rally at Azad Maidan.

The organiser said that they were given the permission after they applied for the same on April 30. They alleged that the Mumbai police's decision was a result of political pressure.

Meanwhile, the Muslim reservation march entered Mumbai today evening. After staying over night near Godrej in Vikroli, the march will continute towards KJ Somaiya Ground in Chembur.

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