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Jamia Millia minority tag: Muslim intellectuals demand withdrawal of affidavit

New Delhi: Responding to the affidavit filed by the Modi government in the Delhi High Court against the minority status of Jamia Millia Islamia, the Muslim Intellectuals while terming it the negative thinking of Modi government towards Minority institutions, sought clarification from the vice chancellor and registrar for the absence of lawyers representing the Jamia.

It must be noted that the government of India, to oppose Jamia Millia Islamia ‘minority tag’, has filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court. The revised affidavit, filed on March 5, contests the order of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), which recognises JMI as a religious minority institution.

It must be recalled that in August 2011 the Ministry of Human Resource Development headed by Kapil Sibal, had submitted an affidavit in court certifying that then UPA-II government “respects the declaration made by NCMEI”.

In reply to a question, former NCMEI president, retd Justice Sohail Eijaz Siddiqui said the case is pending with the court. He expressed hope that the judgment will be based on constitution and law. He said the section 30(1) of the constitution says that minorities can establish educational institutions of their choice. He said Jamia was established before the Parliament Act and was later approved by the Parliament Act. Justice Siddiqui said presently the issue is being politicized as elections are to be held in Karnataka.

Imam of Shahi Masjid Fatehpuri Dr Mufti Mukarram Ahmed said the government body NCMEI itself had given the minority status to Jamia in the light of law and constitution. Its opposition by the Modi government indicates that communal forces in the government want to snatch away the rights of Muslims guaranteed by the law and constitution.

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