Thousands of Muslims hold rally in Lucknow

February 20th, 2009 - 1:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 20 (IANS) Thousands of Muslims led by the Ulema Council took to the streets here Friday to protest the alleged victimisation of youths belonging to the minority community in the name of combating terrorism.
On the call given by the Ulema Council, members of the Muslim community reached Lucknow early Friday morning by two special trains from Azamgarh and assembled at the Charbagh railway station amidst tight security arrangements.

Besides carrying out demonstrations and public meetings at the Teele Wali Masjid here, the council members would also meet Chief Minister Mayawati and Governor T.V. Rajeswar.

“We will plead with the chief minister and the governor to help our youth, especially those belonging to Azamgarh town, who are being falsely implicated in terror activities,” Maulana Amir Rashadi Madni, the convener of Ulema Council, told IANS Friday.

“We will demand compensation for those falsely implicated in terror cases and later freed by the court. If the chief minister agrees to our demand, we will repay the obligation,” added Madni, who is also planning to contest the coming general elections.

The council has also initiated talks with Asom United Democratic Front whose prominent leader is Maulana Badruddin Ajmal for forging an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, said members of the council.

The council has been demanding probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the judiciary into the Batla House encounter in New Delhi a few months ago, where three youths from Azamgarh were killed in a shoot-out with the police. Delhi Police had accused them of being involved in the Sep 13, 2008 serial bombings in the national capital.

To press the same demand, the council had held a rally at New Delhi Jan 28.

In view of the rally of the Ulema council, extensive security arrangements have been made in those parts of the city through which the procession will pass.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said extra police force, including five companies of provincial armed constabulary (PAC) and four companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF), have been deployed.

While the main stage-in will be organised at the Teele Wali Masjid, a series of demonstrations will take place at the Station Road, Burlington Crossing, Cantonment Road, Parivartan Chowk and other places.

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