A delegation of select Muslim leaders approached Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with a charter of their demands, a move that shows a noticeable shift in the community’s otherwise anti-Sena stand.
A delegation of former Congress party loyalists, who have formed the Maharashtra Muslim Ekta Parishad, have demanded more land for the Muslim population in the state and fast track courts for the accused in terror cases.
Sharfoddin Kante, an activist from the Konkan region, representing the association, said, “The condition of Muslims in the state is worse than that of the Dalits. We have now decided to put across our demands to other parties we were warned against and see how they can help us.”
The three-month-old organisation — spread across the state including Latur, Solapur, Nashik, Thane and Mumbai — alleged that the former state government has occupied the land belonging to the Wakf board including the Imail Yusuf College in Jogeshwari. The association has requested the Shiv Sena to the “give the land back” to the Wakf board.
Moreover, the group has also demanded that the terror accused be tried at the fast track courts and maintained that the judgments in terror cases should materialise within a year. The accused in such cases, if acquitted, should be provided with ‘sufficient’ compensation, the parishad added. The group also demanded fund allocations of Rs 4,000 crore for the Muslims in the state and have sought a “Danga Mukt Mharashtra”. The change in heart comes after the Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP-Sena alliance swept votes by a huge margin. According to parishad president Dafedar Aakif, Thackeray has promised to look into all their needs if they win the 2014 Assembly elections.
Till now, two separate delegations of Muslims have contacted Sena. Shabbir Ansari, a community leader, said, “Different groups are approaching different party leaders for the community. Even we approached them to look into issues that the minority community is facing.”