Tight Security: Muslims ask Mamta not to meet Hillary Clinton *Northeast students not discriminated: Chidambaram

May 5, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kolkata, May 03, 2012: Unprecedented security measures are put in place for the first visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to this premier city next week, particularly after a Muslim cleric threatened to protest. Security and intelligence agencies are on tenterhooks as the Sunni Muslim cleric Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati on Thursday threatened to stage black flag demonstrations during Clinton’s visit to protest against “insult of Muslims in the U.S. and attacks worldwide by the U.S.”.

Barkati, who is also the chairman of the Majles-e-Shoora, a body of Islamic religious intellectuals, said: “We all should boycott American products and Americans. On both days Hillary Clinton will be here our volunteers will stage black flag demonstrations on her routes within the city.” Barkati requested Mamata Banerjee “not to meet Clinton as Muslims are being insulted in the U.S.”.

“The sacred Quran has been burnt in the U.S. at the behest of a Christian priest Terry John in a church in Florida. The former U. S. President Bill Clinton too had unleashed attacks on Muslims. We can never accept that any U.S. dignitary will visit Kolkata. We plan to stage a black flag demonstration in protest during her visit,” he threatened.

Though Mamata Banerjee has not commented on Barkati’s threat but directed the police to leave no stone unturned to prevent any untoward incident during Clinton’s visit as she said 33 percent of the state’s population are Muslims. She had earlier described West Bengal under the Leftist rule as a “hub of terrorists”. Barkati, who was strongly opposed to the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front, had actively campaigned in favor of Mamata Banerjee’s party, Trinamool Congress, and had issued a diktat to Muslims to vote in its favor.

Barkati’s threat has made the Kolkata Police and other security agencies sit up as West Bengal is considered a hub of terrorists particularly the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam (HuJI) terror group, based in Bangladesh and founded by former Afghan war veterans. Districts in the state bordering Bangaldesh are one of the recruiting grounds for HuJI and on January 22, 2002 Huji terrorists carried out an attack on the American Center here. A team of 12 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents are already in this city, and held meeting with top officials of the Kolkata Police.

During her stay Clinton is also likely to visit the headquarters of Mother Teresa founded Missionaries of Charity in the city. Hillary Clinton had visited here in 1997 to participate in Mother Teresa’s funeral as a representative of her husband former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

– xinhua-ani

Northeast students not discriminated: Chidambaram


New Delhi, May 5, 2012: Chidambaram assured the north-east students that they were free to travel or reside in any part of the country.

Federal Home Minister P. Chidambaram today denied that northeast students are more vulnerable to discrimination than those from other regions.

“It is incorrect to say that northeast students are more vulnerable as compared with students from other regions,” he said in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.

The issue was raised following the deaths of three students from the region last month.

The government is obliged to provide them security, the minister said adding that the state governments are responsible for providing security to people residing in their regions.

Replying to a calling attention motion, he said “As far as Delhi is concerned, a lot of measures have been taken.”

In 2012, eight cases of offences against women from the northeast were reported. “Seven of these were cracked and 11 people arrested. In 2011, seven cases were registered, six prosecuted and 10 arrested,” the home minister said.

He said three DCP (deputy commissioner of police) level officers have been designated to address problems faced by the students and other residents of the northeast.

Chidambaram assured the north-east students that they were free to travel or reside in any part of the country and the government will ensure their safety and security.

Meanwhile, federal minister of state for Rural Development Agatha Sangma recently revealed that she had also faced racial discrimination as a student.

“I may have my share of experiences what one can call racial discrimination.”

She refused to elaborate but said “in a city like New Delhi, a lot of northeast students face racial discrimination on a day to day basis.”

Sangma said the media is focusing on the issue because Meghalaya chief minister had brought it to light.

The young Member of Parliament from Meghalaya blames ignorance to be the main reason behind the racial discrimination.

Dana Sangma, niece of Meghalaya chief minister, committed suicide April 23 in Delhi after being allegedly insulted by an exam invigilator.

Samiran Saikia (Assam) also took the extreme step following exam pressure while Richard Loitam from Manipur was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Bangalore.

– sify

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