PUNE: The Muslim community came out on the streets to organise a peaceful ‘Mook (silent)’ protest rally on Sunday to demand for resolution of various issues related to the stagnation and representation of the community like the delayed implementation of the provision for reservations for the community, protection from mob lynchings etc. The rally began from Golibar Maidan and concluded at the council hall.
The Muslim community has been granted a provision to avail reservations in education, employment and other public and semi-public arenas. The implementation of the reservations, which were announced alongside the Maratha reservations, however, has remained up in the air. The major demand made by the community on Sunday was regarding the implementation of the 5 pc reservation provision for Muslims.
Another important demand was that the community be given justice and protection in the frequent instances of mob lynching happening across the country. The community has a deep feeling of insecurity and has put forward a demand that there be justice for the victims of the more than 78 cases of Muslims being attacked or murdered by mobs.
The community also demanded that the Muslim Personal Law, which according to the organisers and members of the community has constitutional recognition, be kept untouched and that the government should not interfere in its ambit. There was also another demand which called for a larger demand of protection to both Muslims and dalits from acts of sectarian violence. A demand was also placed to free the lands belonging to the WAQF boards from encroachment.
More than 1 lakh members of the Muslim community walked in the silent rally. The rally, which harkened back to the silent Maratha Morchas, saw large-scale participation from women and youth of the community. Tousif Shaikh, a Muslim youth who practices as a lawyer and participated in the morcha, said, “One after another reports have made it clear and proven that the Muslim community has insufficient representation, not only in employment and education but also in social representation,” adding, “We only want what is constitutionally provided to the community and are not seeking special treatment.”