A delegation of Muslim religious leaders called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah late last night and flagged incidents of communal violence after Ram Navami and hate speeches.
The delegation was led by Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind president Maulana Mahmood Madani, secretary Niyaz Faruqui and All India Muslim Personal Law Board members Kamal Faruqui and Professor Akhtarul Wasey.
Speaking to NDTV, Niyaz Faruqui said the delegation raised 14 challenges facing the country. Recent incidents of communal violence in Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra were among the key topics discussed in the meeting, he said.
“This was a different Amit Shah from the one we see delivering political speeches. He responded positively, he heard us in detail, he was not in a denial mode,” he said.
The incidents, many of which took place in non-BJP ruled states, took place during Ram Navami processions. While the BJP has alleged that their rallies were attacked, the Opposition parties have said it was the BJP that engineered the violence for political gains.
The Muslim leaders also raised the incident in Bihar’s Nalanda in which a madrasa was set on fire, Mr Faruqui said.
Discussions were also held on the killing of Junaid and Nasir, residents of Rajasthan’s Bharatpur. Nasir (25) and Junaid (35) were allegedly abducted by cow vigilantes on February 15. Their bodies were found inside a burnt car at Haryana’s Bhiwani the next morning.
The Muslim leader said they had also raised hate speeches by BJP leaders. “He told us there are all kinds of people, so it is not right to see everyone through the same prism. The government, he said, was not involved. We told him that the silence on your part leads to despair among Muslims. He said he would look into it,” Mr Faruqui said. “We did not target any leader, that was not our goal. Our goal was to create cooperation and change the atmosphere in the country,” he added.
The subjects of same sex marriage and Uniform Civil Code were also discussed, he said. “We expressed our stand, but he did not react to this,” he said.
Asked how satisfied the Muslim delegation was after their meeting with the Home Minister, Mr Faruqui said this was a “breaking ice” meet. “We have taken an initiative, we are not saying anything on the behalf of the government. Mr Shah said, ‘I practice what I preach’. So, let’s see.”