Kerala Muslim bodies protest delay in land for AMU centre

March 3rd, 2009 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, March 3 (IANS) Activists from a dozen Muslim organisations in Kerala staged a protest in front of the state secretariat Tuesday to protest the “callous attitude” of the state government in providing land for setting up an off- campus centre of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Malappuram district.
Later speaking to reporters here, former state education minister and general secretary of the Indian Union Muslim League E.T. Mohammed Basheer said last year, the state government had written to AMU that it had identified 224 acres of government land at Panakkad in Malappuram district for the centre.

“But now they have gone back on their decision and they say that part of that land has to be given to set up an education park under private-public partnership. The Left has been harping against privatising the education sector and now they have dumped AMU for a private-public partnership,” said Basheer.

He added that the state government had identified another piece of land for the purpose but it has now come to light that there is a dispute over the land and the matter is now in court.

“The new land that they have identified is difficult terrain and no one knows from whom the government will acquire it because it is disputed land and a long drawn case is going on between the dispute-parties. How can such a land be used for the AMU centre. This is a clever tactic by the Left government to delay this,” said IUML legislator Abdurahiman Randathani.

The issue created a furore in the state assembly when state Education Minister M.A. Baby termed Tuesday’s protests a “wet cracker”, drawing protests from IUML legislators.

“This was a painful comment from the minister and this forced our legislators to express their displeasure. We are not particular that the land should be at any particular area. But we are upset because the state government is playing dirty,” added Basheer.

Malappuram district has the largest number of Muslims in the state.

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