India Rights & Wrongs
April 26, 2003
Detention of Muslims in Gujarat Continues
Prominent Muslim scholars were arrested and allegedly tortured
during their detention in the month of May and early June 2003. No
charges were filed against them and no proper explanation has been
given so far for their detention except that they are looking for
some person who has absconded. Those arrested included Hazrat
Maulana Khanpuri, Mufti Abdul Qaiyum Mansuri, Maulvi Anjum, Mufti
Rizwan, Maulana Shaukat Alipuri, Mufti Imtiaz Ahmed, Maulana Ahmed
Patni, Mufti Yahya Mastan.
The later three were detained in police custody for three days.
While Mufti Tahir, Maulana Ahmed Hussein and Maulana Juned are still
under police custody. All of them are scholars at Dabhel, the
biggest and the most prestigious Islamic seminary in Gujarat.
Maulana Khanpuri, the head of this seminary, was kept in custody for
11 days. During his detention he was interrogated and tortured.
Consequently, he is in a hospital in the city of Surat, Gujarat,
treatment. The police are reportedly interrogating them about one
Sufyan Patangia who was once a student of the seminary. Police wants
to interrogate Patangia in connection with the murder of a
politician Haren Pandya, who was an arch rival of the present Chief
Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Hiren Pandya was murdered about
couple of months ago by a group of unknown assailants. The father of
the victim accused Narendra Modi of making Muslims scapegoats.
the Gujarat police arrested above mentioned Muslim religious leaders
and accused them of knowing the where about of a person the police
is looking for. The charges were never brought before the court and
some of the accused were released later.
The arrest of religious scholars and teachers and the manner they
have been systematically tortured and violated is a matter of
serious concern to every one. Arresting scholars of a religious
seminary under the suspicion that they may have some connection with
a former student allegedly accused of playing a role in the murder
of Pandya is against all norms of human rights and
*1. Stop persecution of religious leaders.
*2. Apprehend the real culprits and murderers of Hiren Pandya
and punished them to the maximum extent allowed by law.
*3. Take all necessary steps to remove fear and anxiety among
Muslims and other minorities in Gujarat and create a conducive
environment for them to live in peace.
*4. Punish the people who propagate hate and fear.