Mumbai police memo on Muslim institute sparks row

Published: 02nd April 2013 04:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2013 04:51 PM   |  A+A-


Irked by the police's alleged attempt to malign the Muslim community through an internal circular, a social organisation will lodge a complaint with Mumbai Police later Tuesday before taking legal action, an official said.

The complaint by the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JeIH), to be handed over in a day or so, will seek to know from police on what evidence did they point a finger of suspicion at Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO), which imparts Quran teachings and self-development training to Muslim girls, said JeIH secretary Aslam Gazi.

"If they have any such material, they must prove it, otherwise tender a proper apology. If they don't, then we shall initiate legal action against the police department," Gazi told IANS.

Gazi's objection is to an internal memo sent to all police stations asking them to keep tabs on the girls' schools run by the JeIH and the activities of its affiliated organisation, GIO.

The memo was sent out last week, but it was leaked to the media, creating a furore in the minority community, which accused the police of harassing Muslims in the name of security and intelligence gathering.

While Additional Police Commissioner (Special Branch) Naval Bajaj has tendered a verbal apology and ordered a probe into how the sensitive memo leaked out, the JeIH is not satisfied.

"This has happened earlier with madrassas. Innocent Muslim youths picked up for alleged terror connections never stood before courts. Then police give oral apologies and said they would not repeat the mistakes, but they continue. This time we have decided not to take this lying down," Gazi said.

Among other things, the police internal memo hinted at the possibility of GIO surreptitiously trying to train women students for "Jihadi activities".

Attempting damage control, Bajaj made a verbal apology to a delegation of Muslim leaders which met him here Monday and also promised to issue a clarification over the memo.

Officials claim that the "intelligence input" on GIO was received from outside sources and it was the duty of the police to verify it, as a normal routine.

Gazi said that the GIO is over a decade old and has hundreds of local units all over India which are involved in imparting Quran teachings and self-development techniques to the young girls.

Besides, the JeIH runs over three dozen schools in Maharashtra and is engaged in other social activities, he added.


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