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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Mumbai : Muslim entrepreneurs, businessmen and professionals from around the country will converge for the fifth All India Minorities Business Summit in Bangalore Nov 22, an organiser said here.

    Inspired by the huge economic progress achieved by the Muslim community in Britain, the organisers have invited two international experts to guide Indian Muslims on improving their financial lot, Danish Reyaz, director of Maeeshat Media Pvt Ltd, organisers of the summit told IANS.

    "The recent reports of the Muslims in Britain have greatly inspired the Indian Muslims. So we have special lectures by Mufti Barkatullah Abdul Quader, who is a senior official with the Islamic Bank of Britain, and Hasan Chougule, CMD of Emaad Group, Qatar," Reyaz said Thursday.

    While Mufti Barkatullah Abdul Quader will speak on 'Solving working capital issues - the Shariah way', Hasan Chougule will discuss ways and means of achieving economic inclusion, he said.

    "This is a significant step towards economic mainstreaming of the Muslim minority in the country. The 200-plus participants will discuss and share their ideas on the issue," Reyaz added.

    The theme of the discussions will be "Economic Mainstreaming of Minorities - Connecting Business, Technology and Finance" and develop specific approaches to help the community overcome different challenges, Reyaz said.

    He said India is an emerging economic empowering country with a large number of listed companies in different stock exchanges, and this provides a huge potential for Shariah compliant stocks, too.

    Citing a report, Reyaz said more than 6,000 stocks are listed in India, of which around 5,000 are on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and another 1,500 on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE).

    As on Sep 2012, the market cap of the BSE-listed stocks was Rs.66,250 billion and that of the NSE-listed stocks of Rs.65,567 billion.

    The total Indian Muslim population is around 180 million, ranking as the second largest Muslim population of any country in the world and accounting for 11 percent of the global demography, Reyaz said.

    Though more than 40 percent Muslims are self-employed or entrepreneurs, Muslim-dominated areas are not adequately serviced by financial institutions as they fall under a so-called 'red zone', Reyaz said.

    The 200-plus gathering will discuss issues confronting the community like financial inclusion through the markets, approaches to bring minorities into the economic mainstream, role of venture capital fund in realty sector, prospects of Islamic Banking in India, role of technology in business and commerce, Shariah governance of financial institutions and overall development and progress of entrepreneurs.

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    By Saeed Naqvi, IANS,

    The government of Akhilesh Yadav in UP has asked the battered Muslims of Muzaffarnagar to sign an affidavit:

    “Myself and members of my family who have left our village and our homes due to violent incidents in our village, will not now return to our original village and home under any circumstance.”

    This undertaking, sought by a government which lays a special claim on Muslims, has made Firaq Gorakhpuri’s famous couplet stand on its head.

    “Palat rahey hain ghareeb ul
    Watan, palatna tha
    Who koocha rookash e jannat ho
    Ghar hai ghar phri bhi.”
    (Exile may have been the very picture of paradise, but please let us return because there is no place like home, after all)

    In this affidavit, the Samajwadi Party (SP) government is demanding the Muslim refugees of Muzaffarnagar to forego their right to return, rather like the Palestinians. Many refugees worldwide do not return for a variety of reasons. But here the state is complicit in perpetuating the exile.

    If the refugees commit themselves not to return home, they will be entitled to a cheque of Rs.5 lakhs, equivalent of about $8000.

    There are other conditions for the recipient of the dole:
    “The lumpsum financial help being given by the government will be used by me only to rehabilitate my family. With the help of this money, I will live with my family arranging for residence elsewhere (not in my village).” Returning home is taboo once the cheque has been accepted.

    A further condition is:
    “On receiving the lumpsum financial help amount, neither I nor any member of my family will demand any compensation relating to any damage to any immovable property in my village or elsewhere.”

    The implication is that any property left behind in the village can be vandalized or occupied by those who have pushed out the Muslims from their respective villages. But these Muslims will forfeit the right to complain about their properties being vandalized or occupied once they have received the Rs.5 Lakh cheque. Brilliant governance.

    One would have expected the state government to send the refugees back to the homes they had fled during the riots. True, they have gone through horrible experiences. They have seen their relatives killed, their wives and daughters raped. They are therefore afraid returning to their villages unless the state can ensure their security. In normal times this was supposed to be the duty of the state. But the Samajwadi party appears to be evolving a new pattern of institutionalized apartheid as a means of managing the fallout from communal riots.

    Who knows, the UP government may have embarked on an imitable model. If the majority community in a village has grown tired of that profaned term “composite” culture, all it has to do is to riot on a massive scale and drive out the minority into make shift refugee camps. The SP officials will show up cash-in-hand and ensure that the minority never returns to the homes it has abandoned.

    The majority will now have a homogenous population in the villages. If the uprooted minority, Rs.5 Lakhs in hand, mutate and become the new banjaras or gypsies, so be it. If they settle in blocs of newly constructed shacks, they will be easy targets for arson as well as for votes.

    It is also possible that the state government is not being as cynical as it may appear to be. It possibly has collaborators among the Muslim clergy.

    Muzaffarnagar is close to Deoband, the largest Muslim seminary in the subcontinent. Maulana Arshad Madani and his disciples have shouldered a great deal of the responsibility of the riot victims still in the camps. The government in Lucknow has done little to help.

    Why should a government which imagines the Muslims are its vote bank, not be energetically helping them in their distress? For two reasons: it would not like to be seen by the majority community to be reaching out to Muslims. In an atmosphere so polarized, supposing mischievous elements scream “appeasement”, that word will resonate statewise. It is not totally rational but that is the state of funk in which all parties are fighting these elections, except perhaps the three ladies - Mayawati, Jayalalithaa and Mamata.

    Handing Rs.5 lakh to Muslim refugees and encouraging them to take the road, is Mulayam’s way of playing both sides:
    “Shaikh bhi khush rahey
    Shaitan bhi naraaz na ho”
    Which means that the “Shaikh should be pleased but Satan should not be displeased either”.

    Well, the Shaikh of Deoband is actually playing ball with Mulayam. He is advertising the cheque as a boon for the Muslims of nine villages of Shamli and Muzaffarnagar. The political quid pro quo is simple: the clergy gets the credit for having extracted the boon from the SP government and thereby hopes to tighten its grip on the community. A rattled SP expects Deoband to help it win back the Muslim votes.

    The Deoband School considers the separation of poor Muslim families, a minority in many villages, from the prosperous Jat majority an outcome to be desired. Why? Because wives and daughters of the extremely poor Muslims are exposed to sexual exploitation by the rich.

    Will they not be so exploited as gypsies or in new settlements they know nothing about?

    From the great secular fraternity, the silence on Muzaffarnagar has been deafening. Some weeks ago the CPM organized a Convention against Communalism at Delhi’s Talkatora stadium. The hall was full of SP volunteers wearing red caps. No sooner had Mulayam spoken than the red caps left. Only the CPI’s A.B. Bardhan urged Mulayam to arrange for the return of the refugees. Mulayam winced.

    The only party with friends in Muzaffarnagar and which is campaigning for the refugee’s return is an unexpected one: Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).
    Where does the Congress stand on the issue of the return of the refugees?

    (15.11.2013 - A senior commentator on political and diplomatic affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on The views expressed are personal.)

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    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : A mood of mourning pervades the old city of Hyderabad as Shia Muslims Friday observed "Yaum-e-Ashoora" to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and his followers in the battle of Karbala.

    The traditional "Bibi Ka Alam" procession was taken out with self-flagellation by hundreds of mourners.

    Cries of "Ya Hussain" rent the air as blood oozes out from the heads and chests of the bare-chest Shia mourners in the mammoth procession, which passed through different parts of the old city amid tight security.

    The historic procession was taken out from 'Bibi Ka Alawa' at Dabeerpura in the old city with hundreds of people clad in black were beating their chests, remembering the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his followers in the battle of Karbala 14 centuries ago.

    Amid recitation of 'marsiye' (elegies) and 'nohay' (poems expressing sorrow), the bare-foot youths using knives, blade-encrusted chains and other sharp-edged weapons inflicted injuries on self to show solidarity with the sufferings of Imam Hussain and his family members.

    It was on 10th Muharram, the first month of Islamic calendar that Imam Hussain and his followers were martyred in 61 Hijri or 680 CE at Karbala in Iraq.

    The procession with the 'Bibi Ka Alam' (insignias of the martyrs) kept on an elephant and 'matam' (mourning) by dozens of 'matami' (mourner) groups started from Bibi Ka Alawa in the afternoon and passed through different areas of the old city including historic Charminar.

    Thousands of men, women and children lined up along the streets with many standing on balconies and roof-tops in Bibi Ka Alawa, Dabeerpura, Etebar Chowk, Moghalpura, Gulzar Houz, Madia and other areas to catch a glimpse of the procession.

    Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma, members of royal family of Nizam (the rulers of erstwhile Hyderabad State) and leaders of various political parties enroute offered 'dhatti' to the 'alam'

    After covering a distance of about five kilometre, the procession will conclude near Chaderghat after sunset.

    The 'Bibi Ka Alam' is believed to contain a piece of wood plank on which Bibi Fatima Zehra, daughter of Prophet Mohammed, was given the final ablution. The 'alam' was installed over 430 years ago during Qutub Shahi period.

    The 'alam' also contains six diamonds and other jewellery donated by Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad.

    Police had made elaborate security arrangements for the peaceful conduct of the procession. Personnel from central paramilitary forces were also deployed.

    Muharram was also observed in various parts of Telangana region in the traditional manner.

    In many Muslim neighbourhoods youngsters were seen offering 'sharbat' or special juice to passersby.

    Hyderabad has about 200,000 Shias, the second largest population of the community in India after Lucknow.

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    By IANS,

    Thane (Maharashtra) : An elderly man suddenly collapsed and died while offering prayers during Friday namaz at a mosque in Mira Road of Thane district in Maharashtra Friday afternoon, local people said.

    The incident happened in the Gazala Mosque of the Muslim-dominated Nayanagar area of Mira Road, around 10 km north-west of state capital Mumbai.

    "There was a huge rush on account of the last day of Moharram in the mosque. The elderly man was offering namaaz along with many others. He suddenly collapsed and is believed to have died on the spot," Aziz Malik, who runs a website,, said.

    No identification papers, mobile phone or other belongings were found; nor has anybody come searching for him. The man appeared to be at least 60 years old, Malik said.

    The body was kept at a clinic run by S.A. Parkar near the mosque. Local people and social workers are looking for the family of the man, Malik said.

    Announcements on loudspeakers are also being made in the mosque and its neighbourhood, to alert the general public and possibly also reach his family.

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    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain,

    A group of Muslim organisations working under the umbrella of "Mission Possible" came together to voice their displeasure today, against what it calls the "rumours of Love Jihad" spread by organisations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal with the intention of disturbing "peace between Muslims and Hindus" in the country. It said such false propaganda, only creates mistrust and suspicion amongst members of different religious communities, leading to a fractured society.

    Addressing reporters at a press conference held here at the Press Club Of Bangalore, Mission Possible's spokesperson and president of Discover Islam Education Trust (DIET) Mr. Umar Shariff, said that in the past few days, a series of contradictory reports were published in certain newspapers and news websites, in relation to one Ayesha Banu's arrest and interrogation, which he said, is causing "trouble to the community."

    Umar Shariff of DIET speaking at the conference. Ashraf Ali, president of Huda Islamic Studies (Left)

    It is to be noted that Ayesha Banu, a resident of Panjimogaru on the outskirts of Mangalore was reported by certain sections of the local media to have been arrested in connection to her alleged role in bankrolling the recent bomb blasts carried out in Patna, however top police officials of both Karnataka and Bihar have now clarified, that her arrest was in connection to her alleged involvement in illegal financial activity, though no corroborative evidence have been produced even to that effect.

    Speaking with her arrest in the backdrop, Mr. Shariff showed his indignation, when he pointed out to a recent press conference held by VHP and Bajrang Dal, where the groups drew unsubstantiated links to Banu's conversion from Hinduism to Islam and resulting role in "terrorism financing activities." He said that the theory of "Love Jihad", which is propounded by such groups is a mere concoction and has no supportive evidence. He then quoted a report by, where our correspondent had reported report previously published">Kerala police's cases against hate campaigns launched by right wing organisations to create communal disharmony.

    Mr. Umar Shariff also described the loathsome manner in which Ayesha Banu, a mother of three was paraded by the police in front of the world with her 4 month old baby in her arms as a criminal, while no evidence, of her involvement in any illegal activity has been proven yet. He said, "what is the need for the police to take her to Bihar for interrogation, while they could have done the same thing in Mangalore."

    While the preliminary announcement made by Mr. Umar Shariff on social media was that the topic of the press conference would be on "MUSLIM ORGANISATION'S REACTIONS TO AISHA BANU'S ARREST", but the actual conference was titled "STOP SPREADING HOAX OF LOVE JIHAD, OR FACE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES". After his address, when the media asked if the representative organisations' aversion was against Ayesha Banu and her case's portrayal in the media or against the concept of "Love Jihad" which was zealously advocated by the right wing groups, he replied saying that it was against the latter and he has nothing against the "entire media.""Even I am a part of the media, how can I be against my own fraternity," he added.

    He used the platform to call VHP, Bajrang Dal and other such organisations for a discussion, if they have anything against the community.

    When asked what he has to say about Ayesha Banu and her case, he replied, "We have nothing to say about her case, there is law and the law will take its course." He said his his (Mission Possible) opposition is only towards those who are creating the "hoax of Love Jihad". "We will take legal action against those spreading such hoaxes," he emphasized.

    "Mission Possible" is a joint program run by Discover Islam Education Trust (DIET), Huda Islamic Studies, Message of Peace, Wisdom Islamic Studies and Education, Centre for Truth Message, Iqra Educational and Charitable Trust, Islamic Research and Guidance Centre, Islamic Research Centre and Peace for Humanity.

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    By Zaidul Haque,

    Kolkata: Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms. Mamata Banerjee met British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday at British Deputy High Comission Office in Kolkata. The two discussed investment opportunities in the state.

    Mr. Cameraon was leading a delegation of 22 British business tycoons.

    Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee discussed with David Cameron about the state policy and future aspect of investment in West Bengal. They talked for more than half an hour but details were not disclosed.

    After the meeting Mamata Banerjee shook hands with Cameron smiling and posed for the photographers.

    Mamata Banerjee gifted Cameron her own Literary write-up, designed Kurta and trouser, handicraft product of `Dokra Art’ .

    This high-profile visit of a head of a state follows visit to the state by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That meeting was also to explore investment opportunities in the state.

    Cameron was in the city for just seven hours and he had wished to visit Howrah Bridge, which was made by British engineers during colonial time when Kolkata was the capital of British India. His wish to walk on that bridge was cancelled due to security concerns.

    British PM visited Howrah Railway Station and the state head quarter of All India Radio `Akashbani Bhawan’ in Kolkata.

    After coming to power in West Bengal Mamata Banerjee announced that her dream is to make Kolkata City another London.

    David Cameron also visited Indian Institute of Management College at Joka in Kolkata and interacted with the students. In the interactive session Cameron expressed happiness about his Kolkata visit.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu : Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday cautioned people against divisive forces trying to divide communities along religious lines.

    Azad was laying the foundation stone of a 100-bedded hospital in Gandoh town of Doda district, 260 km from here.

    "Mutual love and peaceful coexistence between various communities is the basic key to development", he said while lauding the people of Chenab Valley districts of Doda, Ramban, Kistwar and Reasi for maintaining communal harmony and peace.

    He cautioned the masses against forces trying to divide people along religious lines.

    Azad highlighted major developmental initiatives taken by the Congress-National Conference government for the overall development of people of Chenab region. He said the uplift of common people and providing them basic amenities in health, education and road sectors have received special focus.

    "In due course of time, more hospitals will be established in the Chenab region under the flagship National Rural Health Mission programme," he said.

    Azad said doctors serving in rural areas will get enhanced salary of Rs.55,000 that will serve as incentive for them to work in these areas.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow: Shia mourners clashed Friday with some youth in a village in Moradabad district in Uttar Pradesh, 335 km from here, after a Moharram procession was stoned by miscreants, police said. The violence saw angry mobs pelting stones at passersby, vandalising property and indulging in stray arson.

    The violence was triggered by the pelting of stones by some young people at a Tazia procession as it passed a religious place, police said.

    The procession, which was going through a village in Katghar in the district, was briefly interrupted. Angry mobs soon started pelting stones at passersby and vandalised property.

    Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) R.K. Vishwakarma told IANS that the situation was soon brought under control, after local police forces rushed to the spot. A fire tender was also sent after reports of some shops and a bike being set on fire were received.

    District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ashutosh Kumar were camping in the violence-hit village to contain the situation, home department officials said.

    Moharram elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh passed peacefully.

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    By Pervez Bari,,

    Bhopal, November 15 (Pervez Bari): The Press Council of India, (PCI), has announced the names of noted veteran Urdu journalists Arif Aziz (Bhopal) and Ahmed Ibrahim Alvi (Lucknow) as recipients of joint Award in the category of Urdu Journalism.

    The PCI announced winners of National Awards for Excellence in Journalism in different categories comprising of a citation and specified cash award. The awards would be presented at a function in New Delhi on November 16 on the occasion of National Press Day, a Press release said.

    Noted Urdu journalist Arif Aziz, Special Correspondent of “Nadeem”, the oldest Urdu daily of Bhopal.

    Arif Aziz is Special Correspondent of “Nadeem”, the oldest Urdu daily of Bhopal, is a voracious writer and has authored nine books on various subjects. Daily columns written by him are reproduced by over a dozen national and international Urdu newspapers. He has written nearly 20,000 articles in the last 35 years of his journalistic life. He has been decorated with All India Hakeem Syed Qamarul Hasan Award of Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy and 12 other awards.

    Both Ahmed Ibrahim Alvi, who is Editor of Aag, Urdu Daily, Lucknow, will be presented a citation and cash award of Rs.25,000/- each.

    Meanwhile, Santosh Kumar of India Today, New Delhi and C.K. Sivanandan of Malayalam Manorarma, New Delhi have been given joint Award in the category of Raja Ram Mohan Roy for their investigative journalism in this category they will be given Rs.50,000/ each.

    Manu Pubby of The Indian Express has been given Certificate of Creative Excellence with cash of Rs.25,000/- in the same category. Mohammad Waqas and Dilip Mandal of India Today have been chosen for Special Mention Certificate for their co-contribution for articles in India Today. Brajesh Kumar of Governance Now, Mumbai, has been chosen for the Main Award for Rural Journalism, which carries Rs. 50,000/- in cash apart from citation. Shirish Khare of Tehelka, Delhi has been given Certificate of Creative Excellence and Rs.25,000/- in cash in the same category while Raji Joseph of Rashtra Deepika got the certificate of Special Mention Certificate.

    Santosh Singh of The Indian Express, New Delhi has bagged the top honour Developmental Reporting Award which carries Rs.50,000/- in cash for reporting on development. Upmita Vajpai of Dainik Bhaskar, Bhopal and Sebin S. Kottaram of Malayalam Manorama, Kottayam have been jointly chosen for top honour Stree Shakti Award. They will be given Rs.25,000/- each apart from citation. Sudipto Das of The Times of India, New Delhi and P. N. Pandey of The Indian Express, New Delhi have been given joint Award in the category of Photo Journalism (single news picture) they will be given Rs.25,000/- each.

    Well-known Urdu journalist Ahmed Ibrahim Alvi, Editor of Urdu daily Aag of Lucknow.

    J. Suresh of Malayala Manorama, New Delhi and Subhash Paul of Rashtriya Sahara, New Delhi have been given joint Award in the category of Photo Journalism (Photo Feature) Rs.25,000/- each.

    The awardees were chosen by a jury comprising of Messrs. Sharvan Garg, K.S. Murthy, Kalyan Barooah, Sondeep Shankar, Sheetla Singh, Members, Press Council of India, Abhigyan Prakash, Executive Editor, NDTV, Anis Azmi, Secretary, Urdu Academy, S.M. Ashraf, Income Tax Commissioner, Ms. Neerja Chowdhury, Columnist/Journalist and Alok Mehta, Editor-in-Chief, National Duniya.

    The Press Council of India entrusted with the responsibility of encouraging the media to observe the principle of Freedom with Responsibility while perusing its duties, has instituted these awards to encourage ethical and responsible journalism.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: A reception was accorded in honour of Dr. Shakeel Samdani, President, Sir Syed Awareness Forum and renowned teacher of Aligarh Muslim University by Jama Masjid Committee, Aberdeen, Port Blair in which many important social and educational issues of the community were discussed. This program was presided by Hamid Ali, Chairman, Andaman and Nicobar Waqf Board. The program was conducted by the secretary, Jama Masjid Committee, M.Z. Sidddiqi.

    Speaking on this occasion Dr. Shakeel Samdani said that the honour given by the residents of Port Blair is very important for him. He said that the Muslim freedom fighters of the first war of independence were sent to Andaman and Nicobar where they were very harshly treated by the British prison authorities, but it is heartening note that in spite of being in prison and torture cells these freedom fighter kept the spirit of freedom alive in their hearts. They also did not deter from Islamic principles and never compromised with foreign occupational forces.

    Dr. Shakeel Samdani addressing the gathering at Human Touch Reception.

    Dr. Samdani said that he is very impressed with the peaceful environment of Andaman and the communal harmony among the different sections of the island is a model for the rest of the country. If this model is implemented throughout India then India can be declared as one of the best peaceful nations of the world. The chief guest, Dr Samdnai further said that the Muslims of Andaman should focus on specialised education especially Medical Sciences and Law. He spoke on the importance of legal education in modern era and said that the importance of legal education has increased many folds in the 21st century throughout the world. The Muslims are confronting with many problems that’s why it is the need of hour to focus on legal education. He said that the reception given to him is not due to his personality but for Aligarh Muslim University. It is due to Aligarh Muslim University he developed his personality and got an identity at national level. He can never repay the debt of his Alma mater.

    Mohd. Ilyas Khan, Chairman, Board of Island Islamic Foundation said that he visited Andaman which was known as Kala Paani about 50 years ago,but the peaceful and healthy environment, greenery , love and affection of the people of Andaman forced him to settle in Port Blair. He said that it was the view of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan that unless Muslims surpass other communities in education they cannot progress in the country. He questioned the chief guest why the students of Andaman are not admitted to A.M.U.? He urged and hoped that Dr. Samdani would convey this message to University authorities especially, Vice Chancellor, AMU, Lt. Gen. Zameeruddin Shah.

    Secretary of the Jama Masjid Committee and retired government officer Mr. M.Z. Siddiqui said that the link between Andaman and AMU has broken significantly since 1955. He expressed his anguish that the Muslims of island are unable to join medical and engineering courses and they are far behind other communities. He said that some steps should be taken so that at least one medical student and five engineering students are admitted to AMU every year.

    Ahmad Mujtaba Siddiqui, Rtd. Principal and author of many books said that although Muslim freedom fighters of 1857 were sent to Andaman to suppress their feeling of freedom and they were the worst sufferers but their names are missing from the list of freedom fighters. The need is to remove this injustice and give proper recognition to the freedom fighters. Mohd. Jadwet, a leading personality of Andaman drew the attention of the audience and said that there is a need of Girls College and one post graduate college in Port Blair for the girls who don’t want to join co-ed colleges.

    N. Mohmmad said that Mopilas from Kerala came to this island around 1921-22 and they settled here. Most of them are Shafei Muslims but in our island there is no tension and conflict among different sections of Muslim society.

    Dr. Samdani, Hamid Ali, Ahmad Mujtaba, Iliyas Khan and others at Jama Masjid reception.

    Presiding the program, Hamid Ali, President, Andaman and Nicobar waqf board said that the waqf management in island is very good and the people are very cooperative. The waqf board uses the money for the benefit of the community keeping in view the intention of the waqif. He thanked the local administration and the central govt. for their full support and cooperation.

    In the last a set of books authored by Ahmad Mujtaba Siddiqi was presented to the Chief Guest.

    Another reception was given to Dr. Shakeel Samdani by Human Touch, a leading social organisation of Andaman. The program was presided by P.K. Mohd Ali and the important personalities present in the program were the President, Human Touch, MK Abdul Ghafoor, Mujib-ur-Rehman, Shahul Hameed, Secretary, Yateem Khana, Rayeen Kutti, Abdul Asharf, Ml. Abdul Rasheed, M.K.M. Shahab, Mohd Yunus, Abdul Jabbar Khan, Azim Baksh, Rizwan Ali, Fayyaz Ali, Mohd. Fariduddin, Imam Jama Masjid, Mohd. Shamim Halimi and Zafaruddin Halimi, Imam, Police Mosque, Mohd Tabrez Advocate, Zahid Hussain, En. Yameen Mohammad Mustafa etc.

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: After National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports put Assam in shame with highest rate of crimes against women, here is a revealing fact why women have to face disturbances from trouble mongers especially in city. According to survey done by a city based NGO, North East Network (NEN), women are harassed most of the times due to the poor light facilities.

    The survey which was conducted in 2012-13 across the city among 1, 045 women from different walks of life says that 51 per cent cases take place due to bad light in Guwahati. NEN initiated the survey to address the issue of ‘Women’s safety in public places’ as a part of its campaign on violence against women.

    “It’s a serious issue that due to poor light facility in the city women are facing harassment among others. This is an issue with the authority can easily addressed towards solving the problem which is on the rise in a serious way,” said Sheetal Sharma, one of the members of the resource team after releasing the survey report ‘Towards a Safer City for Women’.

    The other factors which ‘encourage’ the criminals to harass women are crowded public transport or stations (42.2 per cent) and alcohol (40.8 per cent) at the second and third place. Another serious factor which the women have expressed in the survey is ‘lack of respect for females’ which is 36.2 per cent.

    However, the most worrying point is that women face harassment just because they are females. “I think the mind-set needed to be changed. We need huge awareness campaigns and 24 hour effective helpline number to bring the number of crimes down,” Sharma added.

    On the safety measures taken by the respondents, the report says that as many as 58.8 per cent women avoid going out alone in the dark.

    Among all these just 8.6 per cent women go to the police. However, in a matter of serious concern, most of the times police do not do anything when women go for lodging complain.

    On several occasions, people in the city have been complaining for the poor light system. The street lights which are seen jointly by PWD and GMC have not covered the entire city. Sources at GMC office said that they are working to get the street lights coverage in the entire city soon.

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    By Dr. Syed Ahmed for,

    Imphal: The North East India History Association (NEIHA) held its 34th Annual Conference from 11th to 13th November 2013 at Manipur University, in Manipur.

    The conference, hosted by Department of History, Manipur University, was inaugurated at the Centenary Hall of the university on 11th November. The inaugural function was attended by Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, Gaikhangam and Works Minister Dr. Kh Ratankumar as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively. The President of NEIHA and Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Professor Tamo Mibang presided the function.

    The function was also graced by Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University Professor H. Nandakumar Sarma, Local Secretary of NEIHA Salam Irene, Vice-President of NEIHA Professor Anowar Hussain, Registrar of Manipur University Professor N. Lokendra Singh and General Secretary of NEIHA Professor Amrendra Kumar Thakur as dignitaries.

    Addressing the gathering, Gaikhangam said history is an important stream of social science which tracks human achievements and progress. History teaches us values. If our historians present the true facts of the past then we get the true values. However, false facts can mislead the people. Historians should be careful in presenting the information of the past. In our state too it is through the study of history that we get to learn the history of the origin of the different ethnic groups, or their contributions and achievements. In a society like ours where a mosaic of ethnic communities reside the historians should be careful and strive to present true information of the past. There are instances of manipulation of historical facts which has incited serious conflicts in the society, he added. He lauded NEIHA and its organizers for arranging its annual conference in the State.

    Professor H. Nandakumar Sarma said NEIHA has been playing an important role in the construction of the history of North East India. The researches done by NEIHA have enriched our knowledge and understanding of the history, society and culture of the different communities residing in this region. The proceedings of NEIHA are in great demand in other parts of the country and even abroad. The published articles have helped the research scholars working on history of North East India, he added.

    In his speech Professor Tamo Mibang said that history is a popular universal academic discipline. Today the popularity and relevance of the discipline have increased. History is not the rival of any academic discipline. It is the store-house in which all disciplines dwell together.
    It is the treasure-house of human knowledge. It is the cement that binds together all the studies relating to the human nature, their trails, tribulations and achievements for centuries, Maibang added.

    Proceedings of the NEIHA were released at the inaugural session.

    More than 300 delegates attended the conference. Around 100 faculty members and research scholars of colleges and universities of the different States of North-East India presented papers in the three day conference.

    Some of the titles of the papers presented at the conference were: Akhilesh Kumar Sankhdhar’s Literature and History in North East India as reflected in Hindi novels, Narayan Singh Rao’s North East India in the Age of Mahabharata: A Study of Pragjyotish-Karupa, Oinam Ranjit & Nushar Bargayary’s The Bodos: Tracing the Past, Amena Pasha’s Women in Decision- Making in Maghalaya, Salima Sultana Khandaker’s Development of Women Entrepreneurship in Assam, R. Jahan’s Some Unknown Heroes of Assam who participated in the Freedom Movement of India, Devdutta Sharma’s Marriage and Family among the Manipuri Brahmans, Nishikant’s Elements of Buddhism in Manipur, T. Subhas Singh’s An Overview of the Pangal in Pre-Colonial Manipur, Md. Shah Noorur Rahman’s Mughal-Ahom Political Relations, P.M. Passah’s The Jiantias and Human Sacrifice, Gautam Mushahary’s Bodoland Movement from 1987-2003, Luke Diamary’s The Emergence of Bodo Nationalism, Hemant Singh Katoch’s The Second World War’s Battle of Imphal, M. Nawaz Khan’s History of Press in North East India with special reference to Manipur, M. Thongkhosei Haokip’s The Kuki Rebellion 1917-19 – A Subaltern Reading.

    The paper-reading sessions were chaired by some of the renowned historians of North East India, namely former faculty member of North Eastern Hill University Professor J.B. Bhattacharjee, former faculty member of Rajiv Gandhi University Professor S. Dutta, Professor M. Jitendra Singh of Manipur University, Professor A. Tripathi of Assam University, Professor Tamo Mibang, among others.

    This is the fourth time that the annual session is being hosted by Manipur University.

    NEIHA, hailed as one of the well-organized academic bodies of historians in the country, was established in 1979. The Association is committed to promoting scientific historical research of North East India. Its head-office is at the Department of History, North Eastern Hill University, Mawlai, Shillong.

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    By Saiyed Danish,,

    New Delhi: In Ghazipur village of East Delhi, the slum dwellers have their own long list of grievance. On Monday, 180 make shift huts had caught fire there.

    “It is the twelfth time the slum has caught fire due to faulty lines and electrical metres this year,” said Sheikh Hasnur who lives there. “We have no roof over our head. Winters add to our worries as kids get sick frequently and plastic coverings fail to brave chilling winds. They only need our votes and give us nothing in back,” he adds, showing his voter card.

    Delhi goes to assembly polls in two weeks. Various political parties and their sitting representatives from across the length and breadth of Delhi are busy highlighting their achievements in their respective constituencies. In similar spirit, Delhi government is also riding high on its claims of successful implementation of many of its schemes and policies targeting slum dwellers.

    If the estimates of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) are to be believed, over 1.4 crore people live in about 700 slum clusters, Jhuggi Jhopris and 1,218 unauthorized colonies across the city. The only thing which pulls the politicians hailing from posh enclaves to dingy environs of slums is the fact that these poor people are voters too.

    The district of Kirari Suleiman Nagar in North-West Delhi, which comprises of 90% population of slum dwellers out of which 40% are Muslims, will be hotly contested by MLA Anil Jha, Rajan Prakash from Aam Aadmi Party and Amit Malik from Congress. All will leave no stone unturned in wooing slum dwellers.

    “We have dried and half constructed sewers in Kirari which are used as benches to sit on. After Supreme Court roared over the 532 colonies in Delhi which had received the provisional certificates of regularization in 2008 by Sheila Dikshit governement, situation has been improved but the credit goes to SC and not the political leaders who want to reap the harvest of SC driven developmental works for their own gains. Slum people are going to teach them a lesson this time,” says Rajan who is also a social activist from Kirari.

    Likewise RK Puram in South-West has 70-75% people living in slums and candidates are already engaging with the poor in their respective ways. In North-East, four slum-dominated constituencies- Seemapuri, Gokulpuri, Mustafabad, Karawal Nagar will decide the fate of candidates in the region where Arvind Kejriwal is vehemently campaigning. Besides the epicentre of power in Nand Giri, Mustafabad, Wazirpur, Madipur, Najafgarh, Narela, Bawana, Badarpur, Model Town, Kalkaji assembly seats will be the slums in the area.

    In this hyper-charged atmosphere of political kerfuffle the Delhi government represented by the 43 seat strong Congress party has immersed itself into hastily finishing up pending housing projects for the slum dwellers.

    According to the government, 68,000 dwelling units are being constructed to accommodate slum dwellers in Delhi under JNNURM scheme. An additional of 15,000 low-cost flats are being constructed by the government to help economically weaker sections of the society.

    “The cost will have to be shared and the slum dwellers will have to pay around Rs. 65,000 for which they will be given the time of 15 years,” says Ramendra Kumar of Delhi Shramik Sangathan (DSS), whose organization led a campaign to secure the poor workers’ and labourers’ right to life with dignity. Labour class forms an integral part of slum dwellers as in many slum areas and are engaged in jobs from manual scavenging to litter gathering and rickshaw pulling.

    The lack of political will on the part of Delhi government to rehabilitate slum dwellers surfaced when DSS formed some loopholes in the government’s Delhi Slum Policy. “The policy had flaws as it stated that only that slum dwellers who arrived in Delhi before 1998 would fall under the policy which meant that 85% of slum dwellers will not be able to claim a home so we protested and campaigned and it is only now that they have agreed that the new cut off will be June 2009 as result only one slum cluster was destroyed by the hit list of 44 it had made in the past years,” he informs.

    At many places like Narela, Bawana and Dwarka, the flats are ready but bureaucratic hurdles, land mafia's intervention, corruption, and other prerequisites like proper fencing, wiring, establishing water and sewer lines, insufficient ID proofs are preventing authorities to hand over the flats to the slum dwellers.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow: The Congress Saturday said the Muzaffarnagar riots were "a fixed match" between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    Party spokesman Zeeshan Haider also slammed BJP legislator from Sardhana, Sangeet Som, for his call to hold a mahapanchayat again. "Muzaffarnagar is yet to come back to normalcy and Som is trying to stoke passions again," he said.

    Haider said SP and BJP were hand in glove and it was for this reason that non-serious charges were levelled against Som to facilitate his easy release from jail. "Both parties are trying to incite people in the troubled region and fishing for votes," Haider pointed out.

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    By staff reporter

    Kolkata/Medinipur: Some areas of Medinipur district has been put under Article 144 and police is patrolling the area to maintain peace. This follows after communal tension over Muharamma procession and Jagadharti Puja on Nov 15th.

    Muharram procession has been observed in Medinipur Town for over 300 years ago. Police have permitted Muslims to take out 25 akharas but the Muharram Committee decided to do only 13 akharas. A Big procession started on evening of Nov 14th. At per Peace Committee agreement Jagadharti Puja pandals were supposed to be removed before Muharram procession but it didn’t happen. Police appeals to get the structures removed went unheeded.

    A rumor was quickly spread and police resorted to lathi charge and tear gas shelling. Police have arrested 42 people including CPIM leader Kirti Dey Bakhshi and TMC leader Sujai Hazara. At least these two politicians were later released.

    Ex Chairman of Medinipur Municipality Nazim Ahmed told that, Police used unnecessary force on the Muslim people. He alleged that, police beat up him as well, but he was saved by a police inspector, otherwise his head might have fractured. He said Muslims of the Medinipur town are living in the fear of police.

    He asked the police to explain when Muslims didn’t touch the Puja Pandel then did why police start lathicharge on the gathered Muslims? Police official of West Medinipur dist did not want to comment on it.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Saturday said Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi needed to apologise to the Muslim community for his remarks that Muslim youth were wooed by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.

    "His (Rahul Gandhi's) intention was not to malign any community. But it was blown out of proportion by the media and Congress adversaries," Jairam Ramesh said during interaction with reporters from the Urdu media at the Islamic Cultural Centre in the national capital.

    The Congress vice president had made the remarks at an election rally and was referring to Muslim youth affected by the violence in September this year in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

    Minority Affairs Minister K. Rehman Khan and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla were also were present at the event.

    The minister said Rahul Gandhi is secular to the core and that no one can doubt his credentials in the matter.

    "He is genuinely concerned about minorities, weaker sections, Dalits and deprived classes." Ramesh said.

    He added that secularism in the country faces challenges from divisive forces and warned that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was out to turn the country into a Hindutva Rashtra.

    Ramesh said that the BJP was trying to make the elections a matter between clashing personalities and said India is a parliamentary democracy not a presidential one where two people fight it out for the top post.

    The minister reminded reporters that regional parties too had a role to play in deciding who would come to power. He said that while the Bharatiya Janata party was largely confined to India's cowbelt, the Congress had a pan-nation base.

    Ramesh said that there should not be double standards in the distribution of relief.

    He said that whether communal violence or natural disaster, those affected should get relief. He said the centre had released Rs.250 crore to Assam for riot-affected people, but Uttar Pradesh had not approached the centre with a request for relief to the violence-affected people of Muzaffarnagar.

    K. Rehman Khan said the Uttar Pradesh government had implemented almost all recommendations of the Sachar Committee for the uplift of minorities. He admitted, however, that there were lapses in implementation of schemes for minorities, which have been corrected.

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    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain,,

    Bangalore: Maeeshat Media's “Bainulaqwami Maeeshat” is the country's only magazine, which covers the economic and business affairs of the Muslim community. Since 2009 it has successfully organised the “All India Minorities Business Summit”, which brings some of the community's leading economists and business leaders to discuss challenges and ideas faced by it, in today's changing conditions.

    In this Interview with TCN’S Shaik Zakeer Hussain, Maeeshat Media's founder and editor, Danish Reyaz talks about his organisation, the community's current economic conditions in general and more.

    Danish Reyaz (TCN File photo)

    What is the idea behind Maeeshat media?

    The idea behind Maeeshat media, is to bring the Muslim community into mainstream business, both financially and economically. Across India, it has been observed that Muslims have been secluded or have brought isolation upon themselves from mainstream businesses, whereas if we look even at our recent history, we find Muslims to have a strong foothold in some of the major industries in the country. So, what are the reasons for this decline, what went wrong? Through Maeeshat media, we want to educate the Muslim community, on how they can be a part of this larger mainstream business community.

    When you speak about 'mainstream business', what exactly are you referring to?

    First we need to understand what mainstream is - it basically means the existing ideas and conditions accepted by the society at large. The present age, is the age of information technology, it is the age of networking, of collaboration, of sharing ideas, however, we see none of this put into practice in businesses run by Muslims in general. We see most of our businesses restricting themselves to be run by family members, we never allow outsiders to take part in it or expand it. However, when we look at the other side, we see empires being erected. Though there is no denial of great personal fortunes among some members of our community, but personal wealth does not supports the community at large.

    What do you think are the reasons behind this?

    There are some political and social reasons behind this. Let's just take the example of places like Bhiwandi and Malegaon, which are both famous for its power-looms. Much of the economy of this demography is dependent on this industry and there is a huge number of Muslim population which resides there. There is a general apathy found in these places as far as the political establishment is concerned. There is shortage of power supply in these areas and hardly any business friendly policies in place. The machinery in use is old. And this in an area, which when the workers here recently went on a strike for ten days, independent reports suggest that the local economy suffered the loss of close to 1000 crore. As a result of this negligence, new industrial areas are emerging in other parts of Maharashtra. If the political leadership had shown a little interest, things would have been far better for people dependent on this industry.

    And apart from this, the community itself, due to its negligence and laid back attitude, has let itself slump down the development ladder.

    There is no restriction placed by the government, that only people belonging to a particular community can setup businesses, so looking at the economic plight of the community, do you find an inherent attribute within the community that has restricted itself from being part of, what you call the 'mainstream business'?

    There are many people within the community, who have setup businesses and are hugely successful, however, most of them have not tried to be a part of the system. What I mean by that, is many of the businesses run by Muslims are mainly proprietorship, but have not created an infrastructure to make it a 'limited company' or a 'public limited company'. Our people have not fulfilled the criteria of business in the present age. As far as the establishment is concerned, it usually acts on the data provided to them by organisations or representatives of different communities, perhaps we have not put our data forward in the right manner.

    So, how does your organisation intends to tackle this situation?

    One thing we do, is spread awareness about government introduced schemes in the community. How we do this, is by collecting the required data and sharing it with newspapers and journals, who we have tie-ups with. We also hold annual business summits, where we cover different topics; last year our topic was “Economic Mainstreaming of Minorities: strategies and actions” and here our distinguished delegates discussed the importance of Muslims getting themselves acquainted with the day to day changes in the market and how to adapt it in their businesses, they also discussed the importance of crisis management for a business. We created an action plan and put it forward for the government to take action. This year our topic is “Economic Mainstreaming of Minorities: Connecting Business, Technology & Finance” and will be held in Bangalore. This time we will be discussing, Job Creation in Financial Market, Role of Technology in Business, Solving working capital issues -The Shariah way, Role of Islamic Finance & Banking in promoting entrepreneurship & Employment opportunities and much more.

    The 5th All India Minorities Business Summit 2013 will be held in Bangalore on the 22nd of November at 6:30 pm at The Canopy Hotel, M.G. Road, Bangalore. You can contact Mr. Danish Reyaz on 9320995687 or email him at for details.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: In addition to spreading the ideas of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the government should incorporate his ideas into their policies. Maulana Azad not only helped in freeing the country from British Empire but he also framed the educational policy of independent India. These views were expressed by President, Sir Syed Awareness Forum, Dr. Shakeel Samdani of Aligarh Muslim University while speaking in a seminar organised by Noor Jan Seva Samiti at Madarsa Muskan, Azad Nagar as Chief Guest. Dr. Samdani said that whatever promises were made by Maulana Azad to the Muslims must be implemented by the central government. Similarly, in the educational plan of modern India the Muslim community should also be involved in the same way as was desired by Maulana.

    Addressing the huge gathering of students and their parents he said that the difference between an educated and uneducated person is like a fruit-laden tree and a tree devoid of fruits. A tree laden with fruits gives benefit to others and in return everybody takes care of that tree. Similarly, a tree devoid of fruits doesn’t give any benefit to anybody that’s why it is not cared. The same type of difference is found between literate and illiterate people. The Chief Guest, Dr. Shakeel Samdani further said that money is not the only consideration for education. By education a person learns etiquettes and culture. He can easily distinguish between good and bad. Addressing the parents, he said that the parents have to sacrifice for the future of their children and those who don’t sacrifice their comfort, their entire family and society becomes loser. In the last, Dr. Samdai said that to improve the economic condition of Muslims unnecessary expenditure and extravagance should be avoided. The Muslims must lead their lives in accordance with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

    Dr. Shakeel Samdani addressing the gathering.

    Guest of Honour, District Minority Officer, Prashant Kumar said that Maulana Azad was a devout Muslim and he sacrificed the golden period of his life for serving the country. He was against the Partition of the country and he tried his best to prevent the partition of the country till the last moment.

    Naseem Shahid said that without education no community can progress. He demanded opening of primary schools in poor localities. Program Convenor, Nizamuddin said that Maulana Azad was an epitome of Hindu Muslim unity.

    Chief Guest Dr. Shakeel Samdani giving prizes to the winners.

    Presiding over the seminar, President, Noor Foundation, Lucknow and religious scholar, Maulana Mustafa Nadvi said that Maulana Azad spent his life with full dedication for the community and the country. His entire life is an glaring example of sincerity, sacrifice and struggle. He expressed his anguish that the founder of the education policy was an honest and devoted person but the education department in our country is one of the most corrupt departments. Saeeda Khatoon and Mohd Tayyab also spoke in this seminar.

    On this occasion an essay writing competition was organised in which the first prize was bagged by Anjana, second prize by Rubina and the third prize by Ghazala and Free school uniforms were also distributed among the poor and needy students.

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    By IANS,

    Patna : Bihar Police will Monday seek the custody of Ayesha Bano and her husband Zubair, arrested from Karnataka on charges of providing financial help to terror suspects, police said here Sunday.

    The couple was arrested from Mangalore in Karnataka and brought here for investigating an illegal money trail. They were sent to a 14-day judicial custody Saturday.

    "Police will file an appeal Monday in court to take them on remand for interrogation," a police official said.

    The couple was arrested by a Bihar Police team on the basis of an FIR lodged in Lakhisarai district after the arrest of four persons -- Gopal Kumar Goyal, Vikash Kumar, Ganesh Kumar and Pawan Prasad -- in connection with Hawala funding to Indian Mujahideen.

    Bihar Police said they suspected the couple's involvement in funding the activities leading to the Patna serial blasts and that a two-day police remand will help them in their investigations.

    Following a tip-off from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Bihar Police arrested five people -- four from Lakhisarai and one from Dhanbad in Jharkhand -- on charges of providing financial help to terror suspects last week.

    Bihar Police are investigating a possible link between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the five arrested suspects, and also the couple and their links, if any, with the Indian Mujahideen terror outfit.

    Ayesha, a mother of three, was a resident of Mercara in Karnataka's Coorg district. She converted to Islam after her marriage. She lived in Panjimogeru, about six km from Mangalore, with her family.

    Her husband Zubair runs a bidi business in Mangalore.

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Sunday alleged that opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) was secretly in contact with Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

    "Secret meetings of PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed with close associates of BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and his close contact with Narendra Modi have come to the fore which exposes the ideology of PDP," Omar Abdullah said.

    He blamed the PDP of sailing in two boats to seek power, but claimed that their vessel would sink under the weight of its own falsehood.

    Omar Abdullah reaffirmed that his party's association with the United Progressive Alliance is firm and will continue in future.

    The chief minister said the hidden league between BJP, PDP and Panthers Party was also exposed earlier when they forged alliance during various elections of MLCs in the state.

    Addressing a public gathering at Kellar in south Kashmir's Shopian district where he inaugurated a Rs.5.50 crore hospital, Omar Abdullah alleged that the PDP, since its inception, has been power-hungry.

    "I have no personal enmity with the leadership of this party nor I am against their people but my difference with this party leadership is on principles and political issues," he said.

    Omar Abdullah asserted that he would not ask the people to give him 40 assembly seats like Sayeed said to resolve the Kashmir issue within an year.

    "I am time and again advocating for resolution of all political issues confronting Jammu and Kashmir in a process of dialogue so that peace and tranquility prevail in the state and in the sub-continent," he said.

    Omar Abdullah added that the youth of Jammu and Kashmir had not taken up guns in their hands for seeking construction of roads, bridges, hospitals and other works but they did it for political reasons aimed at political purposes.

    He said the Kashmir issue is a political one and requires to be addressed politically in a non-violent and peaceful manner.

    The chief minister asked the separatists to be involved in the dialogue process for an amicable resolution of political issues.

    "When you have observed that the gun has only brought destruction, misery and economic disaster in the state, there is only one option of engaging in dialogue and addressing the issue across the table," he said.

    Omar Abdullah said that during the chief ministership of Farooq Abdullah, the process of dialogue was started which could not move forward.

    The chief minister said he would facilitate the dialogue process between the central government and the separatists who could put forth their point of view regarding resolution of political issues.

    He referred to lifting of restrictions on hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's rallies. The chief minister said the restrictions were lifted when the administration was confident the rallies would not hamper law and order.

    "When there were restrictions on Geelani, opposition was raising hue and cry for lifting those. But when these have been lifted, the opposition is terming it a conspiracy of the ruling National Conference," he said.

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