A. Mirsab, TwoCircles.net,
Mumbai: Aggrieved by the anti-Muslim reservation statements made just after taking charge by newly appointed Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla, Muslims in Malegaon city of Maharashtra protested strongly after Juma prayer and burned her effigy before hitting it with their foot wears. The people were angry and their determination for the cause was eminent as they were protesting in the afternoon when the sun was boiling hot above their heads.
Dr. Najma Heptullah is the new Minister of Minority Affairs in Narnedra Modi led NDA government who took charge on 27th May and soon landed in a controversy. Talking to reporters at Ministry’s office in Pariyawaran Bhawan after assuming charge from his predecessor K Rehman Khan, she said that Muslims are not minorities but Parsees and that her ministry will give due focus to rescue them from extinction. She had also said that it was not necessary to implement all the recommendations of the Sachar committee and had rejected the idea of reservation to Muslims terming it as an ill-conceived policy of the Congress-led UPA government.
Dr. Najma Heptullah
Her statements were widely rejected by the Muslim organizations throughout the country and were seen as anti-Muslims as Muslims are urging the government to grant reservation to their community for long time not on the basis of religion but socio-economic backwardness of their community.
Soon after the Juma prayer hundreds of Muslims in Malegaon gathered with an effigy of Najma Heptulla on the streets of the town and chanted slogans against BJP, RSS and Najma Heptulla. The protest was headed by the Malegaon Muslims Reservation Federation and was attended by hundreds of people including party workers of Samajwadi Party.
The Federation demanded apology from Najma Heptulla for hurting feelings of Muslims or they will arrange more programs for reservations for Muslims.
While addressing the protesting people, Mr. Asif Shaikh Rashid, President of the Federation said,”Najma Heptulla is an agent of RSS who is working under its guidance. We fear that in coming future this Minority Ministry will be removed by BJP government and therefore we urge Malegaon people to join us in raising our voice for the reservation of our community on the ground of backwardness”.
The protest lasted for an hour where anti-BJP and anti-RSS slogans were raised and the effigy of Najma Heptulla which was coloured in saffron was beaten up with shoes/slippers by the angry protesters and was finally burned despite police’s call not to burn it. In the end Federation presented memorandum with their demands to the Prant Officer and requested to forward it to the central government.