JIH expresses concern over violence in Manipur and Haryana, killing of passengers by RPF jawan

August 5, 2023

NEW DELHI: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the leading organisations of Indian Muslims, on Saturday expressed serious concern over the prolonged violence in Manipur in the Northeast, failure of the state government in preventing violence in Nuh and Gurgaon districts of Haryana, cold-blooded murder of three passengers and a Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawan on a running train in Maharashtra, missing of lakhs of women in the last few years and gagging of media.
The Jamaat made its observations at a press conference addressed by its leaders at its headquarters. Those who addressed the press meet were JIH Vice-presidents Prof. Mohammad Salim Engineer and Malik Moatasim Khan, national secretary Mohammad Shafi Madani and national secretary(women’s wing) Mrs Rahmathunnissan A.

Manipur Violence
JIH vice president Prof. Mohammad Salim Engineer expressed his deep concern over the distressing and tragic situation unfolding in Manipur. The unaddressed and unresolved historical tensions between different ethnic groups in Manipur have now resulted in a three-month-long timeline of violence that marks a new low for humanity and exposes the glaring failure of governance at both the state and central levels. JIH firmly believes that timely and proactive action from the government could have averted the escalation of violence and saved scores of precious lives and prevented the condemnable attack on places of worship. The violence in Manipur highlights several issues that minorities in India face, including insecurity, increased discrimination and marginalization and lack of representation in governance and political space. The government must be held accountable for its failure to protect minorities from violence, the use of discriminatory language and policies against them; the lack of opportunities in education, employment, and the absence of any efforts to counter the prevalence of stereotypes and prejudices against minorities in the state. The disturbing sight of helpless Manipuri women being paraded after being disrobed left a haunting impact on the nation’s conscience and dealt a severe blow to women’s protection and dignity. The incident exposes the moral depravity of the rioters and the nadir they can reach in their hatred for people who they perceive as “enemies” and “foreigners”. This jingoistic mindset is a product of the relentless media narrative being peddled by the IT cells on social media and mainstream electronic media. This incessant anti-minority hate campaign has led to attempts at “ethnic cleansing” and turned thousands of citizens into refugees in their own country. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind appreciates the intervention of the Supreme Court of India regarding the violence in Manipur and demands that the Central government immediately takes adequate steps to restore normalcy in Manipur. As a first step, the government should restore internet services and initiate swift and strict action against rioters and those who take the law into their own hands.

Haryana Violence
National Secretary Mohammad Shafi Madani expressed deep concern regarding the communal violence that erupted in Haryana. JIH condemns the attacks on places of worship and calls for immediate measures to bring the situation under control. The violence in Sohna and Nuh, Haryana, which resulted in the loss of six lives, including two home guards, was triggered by a procession organized by a pro-Hindutva organization. The use of religious processions to provoke and perpetuate violence is highly condemnable. Such attempts to foment communal clashes are both predatory and suicidal and aimed to garner political mileage through communal polarization. JIH demands adequate compensation for the families of those killed, including Maulana Saad, an Imam at Gurugram’s Sector 57 mosque, who was murdered, and the mosque was set ablaze during the violence. JIH calls for an immediate high-level enquiry into the matter and strict action against police officials who failed to protect the citizens despite prior intelligence. Jamaat also expresses concern over the biased arrests of random Muslim youth instead of apprehending the real culprits responsible for the violence. A delegation of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, led by its national secretary Maulana Shafi Madani, visited Gurugram, Haryana to assess the situation. The delegation met with Gurugram Police Commissioner Kala Ramachandran. The police attributed the escalation of violence to social media propaganda and admitted challenges in handling the situation effectively. Later, the JIH delegation met residents and visited the local hospital to check on the injured victims and their families. The JIH team also visited the mosque in Gurugram’s sector 57 which was cordoned off amidst heavy security. JIH feels that the situation in Gurugram is a failure of intelligence and coordination with the police department. There is a climate of impunity in Haryana as anti-social elements indulge in violence because they feel assured that no action would be taken against them as they enjoyed political patronage. JIH calls for serious efforts towards the initiation of dialogue across communities and strict action to be taken against anti-social elements fomenting violence. JIH demands suitable compensation for the victims of the violence and punishment for the guilty. APCR’s National Secretary Nadeem Khan, JIH Assistant Secretaries Inamur Rehman, and Laeeq Ahmed Khan were also part of the delegation.

Jaipur-Mumbai Train Incident
Malik Moatasim Khan condemned the cold-blooded and targeted shooting of three citizens belonging to the Muslim community and an officer of RPF on a running train by an Indian Railways Protection Force (RPF) constable. The RPF constable also killed his senior assistant sub-inspector. The heinous manner of the killing suggests that it was a hate crime wherein the accused hunted out passengers who resembled Muslims and shot them in cold blood. JIH feels that the incident is another chapter of the continuous onslaught of organised violence against Muslims, which is becoming the new normal in the country. The radicalisation and polarisation coming from the upper echelons of our power centres have resulted in this sorry state of affairs. It seems that identifying the perpetrators of hate crimes especially those against Muslims as mentally unstable and psychic has become the standard operating procedure to ward off any allegations of radicalization against a particular community. The incident is deeply worrying as those in authority have appointed such “mentally ill” and “short-tempered” individuals and armed them with guns and entrusted them with the safety and security of our citizens. Reports about the accused praising the Prime Minister and the UP Chief Minister after the killing as extremely troubling and damaging. The climate of hate and malice in the country has been created by the policies of exclusion, majoritarianism, division, hate and polarisation further exacerbated by a pliant media, jingoistic films, literature and books leading to such incidents. JIH strongly feels that the continuous hate-mongering by the mainstream media is at the crux of this problem. It should observe restraint or if it continues to behave irresponsibly, then it should face appropriate action. JIH demands compensation for the families of the victims and suitable employment for their kin. Jamaat calls for an independent high-level judicial enquiry into the incident and the awarding of punishment to the guilty.

Women and Missing Girls
Secretary (women’s wing) Rahmathunnissan A expressed grave concern over the report, compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) that from 2019 to 2021, a staggering number of girls and women, surpassing 13.13 lakh, went missing across the country. According to the Union Home Ministry, 10,61,648 women over 18 years old and 2,51,430 girls below the age of 18 were reported missing during this period. Madhya Pradesh accounted for the highest number of missing females, with nearly two lakhs reported missing, closely followed by West Bengal. The report highlights that in Madhya Pradesh, 1,60,180 women and 38,234 girls went missing, while in West Bengal, 1,56,905 women and 36,606 girls were reported missing between 2019 and 2021. Other states also recorded alarming numbers of missing girls and women. In Maharashtra, 1,78,400 women and 13,033 girls went missing during the said period. Similarly, in Odisha, 70,222 women and 16,649 girls were reported missing, and Chhattisgarh witnessed 49,116 women and 10,817 girls going missing during the same time frame. Among the Union Territories, Delhi had the highest number of missing girls and women. The national capital reported that 61,054 women and 22,919 girls went missing between 2019 and 2021. In Jammu and Kashmir, 8,617 women and 1,148 girls were also reported missing during this period. It appears that calls for “Beti Bachao” remain election slogans and various initiatives by the government like the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, that imposes more stringent penalties, including the death penalty, for the rape of girls under the age of 12, is not having the desired effect. Similarly, initiatives like the Emergency Response Support System with a single internationally recognized number (112) for all emergencies, Safe City Projects, the cybercrime reporting portal and the National Database on Sexual Offenders were launched to facilitate the tracking and investigation of sexual offenders across the country by law enforcement agencies, appear to have limited success. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is of the considered opinion that the best way to prevent sexual crimes against women is to develop a society based on morality and ethics. Only a society that respects the dignity of women, promotes modesty and decency and discourages vulgarity and licentiousness can prevent women from being exploited and becoming a tool for the market forces to earn profits at the expense of her honour and self-respect. Jamaat calls upon the people of India to avoid treading the path of the West, which deprived women of their true dignity in the name of freedom and liberty. Women must get their due rights and be empowered but not at the cost of their modesty and distinctive role in the family.

Media is under Pressure (CSDS and Lok Neeti Report)
Prof. Salim also Jamaat expressed grave concern over the recent Lokniti-CSDS media survey. The survey reveals that 82% of journalists think their employers support the ruling party. The mental and physical health of journalists is not in good shape, and around 75% of journalists are anxious about losing their jobs. 70% of journalists experience mental stress. The accusation that the present political dispensation is trying to choke the media and prevent it from discharging its duty as a watchdog of democracy, can be attested by the finding that 16% of respondents disclosed that their colleagues had to leave their jobs due to their political leanings, while over half of the journalists expressed concerns about potential job loss based on their political views. In the digital media sphere, 69% of journalists believed that the coverage of opposition parties was unfavourable. 26% fully agreed that news media unfairly targets the Muslim community, while an equal percentage fully disagreed. The report raised concerns about the proliferation of fake news online, with nearly three-fourths of journalists expressing serious concern about encountering inaccurate information on social media. The survey also uncovered instances of online harassment and trolling. 64%t of respondents reported experiencing harassment at least once, with digital journalists being more likely to encounter such abuse (78%) compared to TV (55%) and print journalists (54%). Additionally, more than half of female respondents felt extremely unsafe about their privacy on Twitter and Facebook, and they perceived more significant risks compared to their male counterparts while using WhatsApp. Some of the findings in the report reveal the current media ecosystem in India and corroborate our poor standing in the World Press Freedom Index. For example, 72% of respondents believed that news channels are currently less free to perform their jobs. Similarly, 71% of independent journalists felt that newspapers today are less free to do their job properly. Other findings concluded that there is a deep-rooted dissatisfaction within the profession and emphasized the need for media organizations to prioritize the well-being of their employees.

 

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