Security tightened in Azamgarh as Muslims vow to protest

February 3rd, 2010 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 3 (IANS) Tight security arrangements have been put in place ahead of senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s visit to Azamgarh Wednesday. The decision was made following an announcement of the Ulema Council (a body of clerics) that it wouldn’t allow Congress leaders to enter the district.
“In the wake of the announcement made by members of the Ulema Council, security has been deployed in every nook and corner of the district, particularly in Sanjarpur town,” district police chief Ramit Sharma told reporters Wednesday in Azamgarh, about 300 km from Lucknow.

Expressing resentment over alleged harassment of youth from the minority community by police on the pretext of tackling terror, the Ulema Council has vowed to hold protests against Congress leaders, who would visit Azamgarh district.

“We have vowed not to allow Digvijay Singh to enter Sanjarpur and other places too. Locals in Azamgarh have already extended their support to us and promised to make every effort so that Congress leaders can’t meet the families of those killed in the Batla House shootout,” Ulema Council’s general secretary Tahir Madni told IANS over phone from Azamgarh.

During his two-day tour to Azamgarh, Digvijay Singh and other Congress leaders would visit Sanjarpur where they would meet families of the two alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives Atif and Chhota Sajid, killed in September 2008 by the police during the Batla House shootout in New Delhi.

Since then, the council has been demanding probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the judiciary into the incident.

“Digvijay and other Congress leaders have backtracked from their assurance to conduct judicial and CBI probes into the Batla House encounter,” said Madni.

Terming the visit of Digvijay and other Congress leaders as “a gimmick to collect Muslim votes”, the Ulema Council has already announced to carry out a series of protests against all those Congress leaders who would visit Azamgarh.

“Actually, they (Congress leaders) are not coming to console the family members of those who have been implicated in false terror cases, instead the visit by the party leaders is driven by politics,” alleged Madni.

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