Banarasi Woman’s Delegation Meets SSP, Demands Security for the Minorities

Written by Sabrangindia Staff | Published on: April 26, 2017

The SSP Tiwari assured the delegation of firm action against any persons who break the law and promised to look into the request to set up Mohalla Committees to monitor the build up of tension


Muslim womens delegation

Mahilaon ki Awaaz,  a women’s organisation today met the SSP of Benares, Tiwari expressing great concern at the spate of incidents of lawlessness and intimidation that appeared to be directed against the minorities. “Many of these incidents have occurred, in recent weeks, in the Ravindrapuri area of Banaras, where ironically a special office of the PM is located these incidents are of utmost concern, “the memorandum submitted read.

Zahid Ahmed a small entrepreneur in the Banarasi saree business, was attacked and brutally beaten up on 13 April. An FIR has also been lodged in Bhelupur police station, but until now nobody has been arrested, said the delegation.

The delegation that consisted of prominent citizens of Benares including Prof.Shahina Rizvi,  Kusum Verma, Dr. Nuzhat Farman, Dr. Muniza Khan, Sutpa Gupta, Sujata Bhattacharya, Smita Bagde, Vibha Vaahi,  Sarita Patel, Pragya Pathak,  Dr. Shruti Nagvanshi,  Qamarjahan Bano,  Shirin Shabana Khan, Anita, Swati Agrawal, Jyoti Kumari,  Qaiser Jahan, Payal Prakash,  Indrani Tripathi, Indu Sharma, Aradhna Singh and Sonia Ghatak urged the Benares police to constitute Mohalla Committees in every nook and corner of the city “so that any build up to tensions and violence, any provocations are brought to the administration's notice immediately and the situation diffused. Responsible citizens from all walks of life must be engaged in every peace making committee, heads from the all sections need to be sent a message that is loud and clear that law must not be broken and the community peace not threatened.”

The delegation drew attention to the 1990s when this Kashi,  a spiritual fountain head, business and trading centre was held hostage to the forces of rampant and brazen Communalism and for months citizens of Banaras, lived on edge, threatened.
 

The text of the memorandum submitted may be erad here:
 
April 26, 2017
Dear Shri Tiwari ji,
SSP
Varanasi

We, the citizens of Banaras come to you to express our strongest concerns for the lawlessness that stalks the city’s streets and which appears to be expressing itself in targeting specific sections of the population. Many of these incidents have occurred, in recent weeks, in the Ravindrapuri area of Banaras, where ironically a special office of the PM is located these incidents are of utmost concern.

Zahid Ahmed a small entrepreneur in the Banarasi saree business, was attacked and brutally beaten up on 13 April. An FIR has also been lodged in Bhelupur police station, but until now nobody has been arrested.

Besides, many women who happen to be Muslim have reported that young men in bikes are harassing them, even molesting them on occasion. (As you are aware the newly passed amendments to the national criminal law after the infamous Nirbhaya case should be a strong deterrent to such brazen gendered violence.)

We were pleased and heartened to reach the statements if UP s new DGP after a press conference on Saturday April 22 where he said there would be "zero tolerance for goondagardi in the name of cow protection or the anti Romeo squads."( http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail-Mg/MzEwNDQ0/newly-appointed-up-dgp-calls-for-strict-action-against-culprits.html)

Sir, this however needs to percolate down to the last man in vardi/uniform that the average citizen, woman or man, poor or rich, Hindu or Muslim all feel equally protected under the law as guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. This is the need if the hour to ensure lasting intra-community peace and harmony.

The fact that Banaras is home to being the parliamentary seat of the Prime minister of India, casts an especial responsibility on the administration and police. To maintain the law of the law of the land and strictly enforce the principles laid down in the Indian Constitution. Neither is any one above the law but no section must feel without voice or representation and marginalised. Each citizen and every community deserves equal protection before and from the law and all mechanisms of governance and it appears that this fundamental right is under serious threat.

We would also like to humbly draw your attention to the 1990s when this wonderful city, a spiritual fountain head, business and trading centre was held hostage to the forces of rampant and brazen Communalism and for months citizens of Banaras, lived on edge, threatened. It was not a happy time and we fear a return to such a time. We hope that the administration is cautious about this so that events such as those which overtook us in the past, are not repeated, again.

We urge that the police leadership appeals to all citizens to maintain peace, communal harmony and restraint. We urge that Mohalla Committees/Peace Committees are set up in every small nook and corner of Banaras so that any build up to tensions and violence, any provocations are brought to the administration's notice immediately and the situation diffused. Responsible citizens from all walks of life must be engaged in every peace making committee, heads from the all sections need to be sent a message that is loud and clear that law must not be broken and the community peace not threatened.

We urge regular meetings with different sections of the citizenry of Banaras in this regard.