Press Release New Delhi / July 10, 2012
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Campaign against Witch HuntPopular Front of India has decided to launch a nation-wide campaign for the release of the innocent Muslim youth who are illegally detained in different prisons in the country. This was decided in a two-day National Executive Council meeting of the organisation, held on July 07-08, 2012. A number of other issues were also discussed.
The meeting observed that a large number of innocent youth remain in prisons as under-trial prisoners and their court proceedings are indefinitely delayed. It is shocking that, as revealed by study reports, in all states other than Assam the percentage of Muslim prisoners far exceed their population percentage in the respective states. They are repeatedly denied bail in the name of UAPA provisions even after no concrete evidence could be produced to justify their detention. To work to bring justice to those innocent victims should be among the top priority of the civil society and concerned citizens and groups. The one month long campaign of Popular Front will include pamphlet distribution, public meetings and other programmes. The campaign will start on August 15, the Independence Day and will continue till September 15. The organisation will provide possible legal aid to those innocent detainees who are in need of it.
The meeting also reviewed the ongoing “School Chalo” programme in different states. It was observed that the programme was successful as it could reach out to the students from most under developed and rural areas. It helped tens of thousands of needy children cherish their schooling dreams and also made the way for many students, who dropped their education at primary levels, to come back to school. The programme also consisted of the distribution of one lack school kits to the selected students from different states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
The meeting also approved the proposal to hold “Freedom Parade” at selected cities in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu on August 15 as part of joining the Independence Day celebrations.
Popular Front strongly condemned the malicious propaganda carried out by a section of the mainstream media against the organisation. The meeting strongly rejected the baseless and politically motivated allegations and efforts to connect the movement with banned or mysterious groups. The meeting observed that there is a conspiracy behind it and it is a part of the larger agenda to isolate, demonize and victimize organisations that work for the uplift of the systematically marginalised sections like Muslims.
Popular Front demanded the Union Home Ministry to take immediate and appropriate steps to control those officers in investigative or intelligence agencies like NIA and IB who are making baseless statements against the Popular Front utilising a section of media without revealing their identity. The meeting observed that it has become a trend in a section of the media to quote certain ‘unnamed sources’ to target Popular Front of India. This is a grave misuse of power and dangerous exploitation of the freedom of the press. The organisation has recently filed complaint with the Press Council of India against 13 such reports. It also expressed the concern over the continuing influence of right wing extremist and communal Hindutva elements in the investigative agencies and in the mainstream media who are disturbed by the efforts by the Popular Front to empower the deprived Muslim community. It is necessary to cleanse up our police and security agencies from communal influence to curb the anti-Muslim prejudice that is so prevalent in police and administration.
Chairman E. M. Abdul Rahiman presided over the meeting. Those who participated in the discussions include K. M. Shareef (General Secretary), Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Vice President), Adv. K. P. Muhammad Shareef (Treasurer), Muhammad Khalid (Manipur), Muhammad Shahabuddin (West Bengal), Kalimullah Siddiqui (Delhi), A. S. Ismail (Tamil Nadu), Yasir Hasan (Karnataka), Karaman Asharaf Moulavi, Prof. P. Koya (Kerala).
Popular Front of India