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Prakash Ambedkar calls off Aman March

March was to protest Nupur Sharma’s objectionable remarks about Prophet Mohammed in a TV news debate

Sabrangindia 17 Jun 2022

Prakash ambedkar

On the night of June 16, less than a day before his Aman March was to take place in Mumbai, Prakash Ambedkar announced that he had called off the march after speaking with Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey.

“Despite a huge support to the protest, a section of people had appealed to the Home Minister and the Police Commissioner not to give permission for the protest march due to certain apprehensions,” said Ambedkar at a late evening press conference. Ambedkar was referring to appeals by several Muslim groups such as Raza Academy and the Mumbai Aman Committee (MAC) who feared that just as has been seen in protests in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, some miscreants might infiltrate a peaceful protest and then turn it violent. The groups had therefore urged Ambedkar to reconsider his decision to hold the protest march.

“The Home Minister has assured me of bringing about a law to criminalise communal statements. The Police Commissioner has also assured me that all necessary procedures are being carried out to arrest Nupur Sharma and Navin Jindal,” informed Ambedkar, concluding, “We have therefore decided to cancel the Aman March.”

SabrangIndia had reported previously about how the Raza Academy had written to Ambedkar saying, “Dear friend, we hereby very earnestly appeal to your gracious self that the venture which you are undertaking with undoubted sincerity and zeal is very likely to be distorted and deformed by miscreants, and thus transformed into a grotesque and harmful event that would in turn damage our noble mission instead of promoting it.” The Mumbai Aman Committee had also held a series of meetings with community members and MAC head Farid Sheikh had told SabrangIndia, “We have held a series of meetings with shopkeepers, merchants, traders and other sections of the Muslim community in Mumbai and nobody is in favour of such a protest.”

Similarly, the Ulema of the Sunni Bilal Masjid had called for an urgent meeting of all senior clerics as soon as he got word of Ambedkar’s protest plans. He also had a discussion with local police. Addressing a press conference yesterday, the Ulema had said, “Such violence is against Islam and against humanity. Don’t engage in such acts that bring shame to the community. We have held detailed discussions with lawyers and knowledgeable members of the community and decided that it is better to pursue legal action, instead of coming out on the streets and allowing emotions to turn into violence.”

The apprehensions about an outbreak of violence are not unfounded given what transpired in Kanpur, Allahabad, Ranchi and Howrah. In fact, in many cases, it is alleged that the violence was sparked by vested interests who used miscreants to infiltrate peaceful protests and then start pelting stones. Similar tactics were also allegedly used in violence that transpired during the Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti processions in Himmatnagar, Anand and Vadodara in Gujarat, Jahangirpuri in Delhi, and Khargone in Madhya Pradesh.

Related:

What does Prakash Ambedkar hope to achieve by organising anti-Nupur Sharma protests?

Prakash Ambedkar calls off Aman March

March was to protest Nupur Sharma’s objectionable remarks about Prophet Mohammed in a TV news debate

Prakash ambedkar

On the night of June 16, less than a day before his Aman March was to take place in Mumbai, Prakash Ambedkar announced that he had called off the march after speaking with Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey.

“Despite a huge support to the protest, a section of people had appealed to the Home Minister and the Police Commissioner not to give permission for the protest march due to certain apprehensions,” said Ambedkar at a late evening press conference. Ambedkar was referring to appeals by several Muslim groups such as Raza Academy and the Mumbai Aman Committee (MAC) who feared that just as has been seen in protests in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, some miscreants might infiltrate a peaceful protest and then turn it violent. The groups had therefore urged Ambedkar to reconsider his decision to hold the protest march.

“The Home Minister has assured me of bringing about a law to criminalise communal statements. The Police Commissioner has also assured me that all necessary procedures are being carried out to arrest Nupur Sharma and Navin Jindal,” informed Ambedkar, concluding, “We have therefore decided to cancel the Aman March.”

SabrangIndia had reported previously about how the Raza Academy had written to Ambedkar saying, “Dear friend, we hereby very earnestly appeal to your gracious self that the venture which you are undertaking with undoubted sincerity and zeal is very likely to be distorted and deformed by miscreants, and thus transformed into a grotesque and harmful event that would in turn damage our noble mission instead of promoting it.” The Mumbai Aman Committee had also held a series of meetings with community members and MAC head Farid Sheikh had told SabrangIndia, “We have held a series of meetings with shopkeepers, merchants, traders and other sections of the Muslim community in Mumbai and nobody is in favour of such a protest.”

Similarly, the Ulema of the Sunni Bilal Masjid had called for an urgent meeting of all senior clerics as soon as he got word of Ambedkar’s protest plans. He also had a discussion with local police. Addressing a press conference yesterday, the Ulema had said, “Such violence is against Islam and against humanity. Don’t engage in such acts that bring shame to the community. We have held detailed discussions with lawyers and knowledgeable members of the community and decided that it is better to pursue legal action, instead of coming out on the streets and allowing emotions to turn into violence.”

The apprehensions about an outbreak of violence are not unfounded given what transpired in Kanpur, Allahabad, Ranchi and Howrah. In fact, in many cases, it is alleged that the violence was sparked by vested interests who used miscreants to infiltrate peaceful protests and then start pelting stones. Similar tactics were also allegedly used in violence that transpired during the Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti processions in Himmatnagar, Anand and Vadodara in Gujarat, Jahangirpuri in Delhi, and Khargone in Madhya Pradesh.

Related:

What does Prakash Ambedkar hope to achieve by organising anti-Nupur Sharma protests?

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