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Rights group to query Gujarat MLAs on what they have been doing for minority welfare

By Our Representative

A minority rights group, accusing the Gujarat government’s “discriminatory” attitude towards the community in the state, has decided to issue a report card of each of the state’s MLAs on their attitude towards minorities. Announcing this, Mujahid Nafees, convenor, the Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), said, his organisation has put forward a list of 10 demands for the state legislators to take up and elicit their views on each of them.
Speaking on the occasion of the International Minority Rights Day observed in the town of Sidhpur in Gujarat on December 18, Nafees regretted, the rights of the minorities are being neglected by the Gujarat government in violation of the provisions of the Constitution such as equal opportunities to all, justice to all, and right to live with respect. This, he added, is particularly important in view of the fact that Gujarat has 11.5% of minority population, including 9.7% Muslims.
He said, the unemployment rate among Muslims in rural areas was 1.9% in 2009-10, which increased to 6.7% in 2017-18, while unemployment rate of Muslims in urban areas, which was 2.5% in 2009-10, increased to 7.5% in 2017-18. “Even though there is a whopping 10.3% dropout rate in schools among Muslim girls, the government is not taking any action steps towards this”, he alleged.
Claiming that the development and protection of minorities has been adversely affected, Nafees said, the MLAs should make clear stand on whether wish to have a minority welfare department in Gujarat, as it exists in several other states and the Centre; whether they support allocation of separate budgetary funds for the development of minority communities; and whether they would demand from the government to set up a separate minorities commission.
Also seeking MLAs’ support for having a special anti-atrocities law for protecting minorities and a law seeking to prevent mob lynching, Nafees said, the government schools up to class 12 should be established in all minority dominated areas, madarsa degrees should be recognized as equivalent to the Gujarat board, and there should be a policy for the rehabilitation of people displaced affected by communal violence.
Among those who spoke on the occasion included Usman Ghani Sherasiya, Chuwara Abid Hussain, Ashraf Ali Syed, Sajidbhai Makrani, Sayyid Mohammad Ali Bawasaheb Deesawala, Huraben Dani, Nisarbhai Sheikh, Haji Asrar Beg Mirza, Rafiq Gaddi, and Ibrahimbhai Turk.

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