Even as the demand to release the Muslim youths was vociferously
raised by Maharashtra State Minority Commission at the Annual
Conference of State Minorities Commissions held in New Delhi March
18, Minority Panel Chief said the commission could not do much in
the case and Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid remained
"The National Minority Commission is
worried about the release of the Muslim youths arrested in the 2006
Malegaon blast case. But the commission does not have enough power
to do much in the case", media reports quoted National Minority
Commission Chief Wajahat Habibullah as saying.
He, however, warned that in the
prevailing scenario "keeping these youths behind the bar is not
fair" and it might lead to dangerous consequences.
The National Minority Commission had
invited the heads of all the state minority commissions for the
annual conference with a single agenda. Maharashtra State Minority
Commission's one-point agenda at the meeting was the release
of the Muslim youths arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case in the
wake of Swami Aseemanand's confessional statement.
The demand, raised by Maharashtra
Minority Commission Chairman Nasim Siddiqui in the conference, was vociferously supported by many
participants including noted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. However, Minister of
Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid remained totally silent
on the issue, according to the media reports that headlined it in
their today's editions.
During the meeting, Minority Commission
Andhra Pradesh demanded compensation for the Muslim youths
implicated in the Mecca Masjid blast and also demanded action
against the erring police officers. But the conference could not
divulge much even on this issue.
Meanwhile, the Annual Conference of
State Minorities Commissions held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi
concluded with a number of recommendations for improving the
Minorities' conditions in the country.
At the conclusion of the Conference, Wajahat Habibullah presented
the recommendations of the daylong Conference that included
recommendations on education of Minorities - especially regarding
scholarships, Multi-sectoral Development Programme and financing of
schemes, Waqf properties, communal violence, cast census, and Prime
Minister’s New 15 –Point Programme for the welfare of Minorities.
Recommendations regarding some other issue such as repeal of the
Bodh Gaya Temple Management Act, unavailability of land for
qabristan in many places in Punjab and Christians facing
difficulties in getting marriage certificates were also made.
Habibullah and other members of the Commission called upon the State
Minorities Commissions to approach it whenever they find that their
persuasions are not bearing the desired fruits.
In his Valedictory Address Salman Khurshid appreciated the role
played by the National Commission for Minorities and the State
Minorities Commissions and clarified on many points that were raised
during the Conference.