PRESS NOTE: ‘Spying on Citizens, Growing crime against women, Impending Third Covid Wave, Crackdown on Rampur’s Mohammed Ali Jauhar University’

August 7, 2021


Press Note


Spying on Citizens

New Delhi, 7th  Aug. 2021: Jamaat-e-Islami expresses extreme shock and dismay to read media reports about a large number of Indian citizens coming under surveillance using Pegasus spyware sold by an Israeli company. This is very damaging to our fundamental rights like the right to privacy, safety and security, and human dignity as guaranteed by the Constitution of India. If the spyware was deployed by some state agency then it is not the characteristic of a welfare but a police state. It would have been a great service to the nation had the money been spent on poverty alleviation rather than spying on citizens. A cursory glance at the list of people allegedly targeted by the spyware gives credence to the suspicion that the surveillance was not carried out with the most honourable of intentions. We fail to understand what is stopping the government from discussing the issue in Parliament as it involves the alleged surveillance of some very high profile citizens of our country including political leaders, industrialists, journalists and members of civil society. Dismissing it as a non-issue, raises unnecessary suspicion that the government has something to hide. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind demands an inquiry into these reports by a JPC or by the Supreme Court and wants that the government of India should come clean on the entire issue. We concur with CJI comments in the Supreme Court of India that: “the allegations are serious if media reports are correct. The truth has to come out. We don’t know whose names are there”.


Growing crime against women
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns the alleged brutal rape and murder of a nine year old Dalit girl from Purani Nangal village near Delhi Cantonment. Jamaat demands that the perpetrators should be punished at the earliest. The Nirbhaya case of December 2012 brought the issue of rape and its punishment in India to the forefront of public debate and there have been a number of legislation related to rape and sexual crimes against women. The definition of rape was expanded and the government has setup fast track courts. However, the number of rapes and crime against women continue to increase and the Kathua, Unnao, Tonk and Hyderabad rape cases are testimony to this disturbing trend. According to the latest NCRB Report, “India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily in 2019 and overall 4,05,861 cases of crime against women during the year, a rise of over 7% from 2018, the latest government data released on September 2020. These numbers imply that nearly 4 women are raped every hour while 2 women are molested every 3 minutes in India. Current public opinion favours quick, harsh, and exemplary punishment for rapists. Jamaat wants the perpetrators of rape and assault on women to be brought to justice quickly and awarded maximum punishment under the law. The conviction rate in rape cases is extremely low and hence there is no deterrence required for its control. After the Nirbhaya case, JIH had given its suggestions to the Justice Verma Committee for controlling the growing incidents of rape in the country. Jamaat supports the committee’s recommendations related to management of police cases like: setting up of a “Rape Crisis Cell” that is immediately notified when an FIR in relation to sexual assault is made. The Cell must provide legal assistance to the victim. All police stations should have CCTVs at the entrance and in the questioning room. A complainant should be able to file FIRs online. Police officers should be duty bound to assist victims of sexual offences irrespective of the crime’s jurisdiction. Members of the public who help the victims should not be treated as wrong doers. The police should be trained to deal with sexual offences appropriately. Number of police personnel should be increased. Community policing should be developed by providing training to volunteers. We hope the government wakes up to its duty to provide safety and security to its citizens, especially women and lives up to its slogan of “Beti Bachao.”


Impending Third Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind demands that the government make appropriate and necessary preparations ahead of time to deal with the impending third wave so that the people can be protected from any calamity and maximum human lives can be saved. In addition, the government should provide free vaccines to all citizens to prevent the disease, overcome the problem of vaccine shortage and take steps to make the vaccine available to all citizens. The government cannot face this great challenge of the Corona pandemic alone. It is important for the people, religious leaders, institutions and social organizations to work together at every level for rebuilding the country and its economy. Serious efforts should be undertaken to strengthen mutual love and harmony and stop those who spread hatred among the people. Taking lessons from the large loss of life during the second wave, the health infrastructure must be spruced up, so also the budget for health services should be increased significantly. The country’s economy should be revitalized especially small and medium-sized industries and businesses. Provision of interest free loans and monthly stipends to the unemployed for at least one year should be ensured. During the second wave, there were a large number of incidents of black marketing of medicines and health facilities. Strict steps should be taken to stop this from happening again. It was observed during the second wave of Covid-19, which took a huge number of lives, that big political rallies and religious melas with lakhs of people in attendance were organized against the Covid-19 protocols. The Central and State government and the Election Commission should be firm to ensure that such is not repeated in the future. Religious places of worship which become centres of social service during the pandemic should be allowed to remain open and help people. In this regard, we wish to point out that Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) is involved in a flagship ‘COVID-19 hand-holding project’, under the Sahulat Microfinance Society and other partners, for pandemic-hit distressed families to rebuild and restore their livelihoods. The project aims to help about 10,000 such people to get back on their feet in the first phase by this year. The funds will be raised through public donations. Beneficiaries include families and individuals whose businesses or families were severely affected during the pandemic period.


Crackdown on Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, Rampur

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses concern over the reported crackdown on Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, Rampur. News reports suggest that the UP State government has initiated proceedings to demolish the main gate of the University via the district administration by issuing a notice to its founder and Chancellor Azam Khan. He has been given 15 days to pay a fine of 1 crore 63 lakh 80 thousand and remove possession of the said structure. It is very surprising that the government is silent on such actions. On the one hand it says that Muslims lag in the socio-economic indices especially education and then we see this case of Mohammed Ali Jauhar University that caters to the education of minorities, not being dealt in a proper manner. If it is a land dispute then it should be resolved amicably with the concerned stakeholders by the government. The University was established by a State Cabinet decision and under UGC guidelines. To disturb such an important place of learning is not in the best interests of the students and the education environment of our country. The government must find a solution to this problem and ensure that the education of minorities and the marginalized is not disturbed.


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