NEW DELHI, Aug 18 � Leading minority leaders representing various Muslim organisations have condemned the campaign against people of north-eastern origin and termed it as �criminal and mischievous�.
�We also appeal to our respected imams and khateebs to avail the occasion of the Eid prayers and make an appeal to the Muslim masses in their sermons to maintain calm, peace and brotherhood. We also appeal to the Muslim masses to beware of the communal forces� designs and remain vigilant to maintain peace and amity in their respective localities,� said an appeal signed by prominent persons like president of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, vice president, Jamaat-e Islami Hind Muhammad Jaafar, Mujtaba Farooq, Convenor, Coordination Committee Indian Muslims on Assam, Abdul Khaliq, general secretary, Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e Hadees Asghar Imam Mehdi, secretary, Jamiat Ulama-e Hind Abdul Hameed Nomani, among others.
�We also appeal to the Muslim community in the country and especially in the affected areas to cooperate and assure their brothers and sisters from north-eastern States that they are safe and secure and should not panic and leave their studies, jobs or businesses. Muslims should also offer the distressed persons to come and live in their houses and institutions until the situation becomes normal,� the joint statement said.
The Muslim leaders claimed that they have reasons to believe that this criminal campaign is orchestrated by the same people who are hell-bent to turn the present ethnic cleansing campaign in the Bodo Territorial Council areas into a foreigners and intruders� issue, which it is not.
�We are reminded by a similar campaign in Assam in May 2005, which had affected lakhs of people. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had at the time squarely blamed the BJP saying that the BJP and RSS are trying to foment communal tension in Assam. �We hope the authorities will not develop cold feet in probing the origins of the present campaign and punishing them,� they said.
Meanwhile, the All India Milli Council (AIMC) has also expressed its concern over the exodus of students and workers of NE region from the southern States.
AIMC general secretary Dr Mohammed Manzoor Alam has appealed to the NE students and workers not to get panicked and leave their stations apprehending a backlash over the recent communal riots in the Bodo heartland and maintain tolerance and perseverance.