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PM assures to address problems of Muslims

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 18: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured top Muslim leaders that his government was committed to take all necessary remedial measures for removal of educational and economic backwardness of the community and reiterated minority status of the Aligarh Muslim University would be restored either through legal means or constitutional amendment.

''Whatever has happened in the past regarding minority problems, I can't do anything, but I can assure you now that the problems of Muslims would be addressed seriously and expeditiously,'' Dr Singh told Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari who was leading a 30-member Muslim delegation to present a charter of demands to him.

The Prime Minister said the Justice Sachar Committee was constituted with the purpose of knowing the actual backwardness of Muslims in various spheres, especially in economic and educational sectors.

Once the Committee submitted its findings, his government would evolve a strategy to resolve the problems so that the Muslim population in the country could catch up with the rest in the economic and educational fields, he added.

Preliminary findings of the Prime Minister's High Level Committee present disturbing facts about the socio-economic conditions of the minority community, which describe them as ''victims of bias''.

The delegation included Maulana Amiduz-Zaman Kairanvi, general secretary of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Mr Rahat Mahmood Chaudhary, Secretary of Jamia Masjid Mushawarat Committee, Mr Khalid Sabir, President of Muslim Majlis, Uttar Pradesh, Maulana Yasin Akhtar Misbahi of Muslim Mushawarati Board and Mr Z K Faizan of Aligarh Muslim University Action Committee.

On the issue of AMU, Dr Singh said his government had all along maintained that it would restore the minority status of the 125-year-old university.

''There should be no illusion about this,'' he affirmed.

Similarly, he also assured that there would not be victimisation of minorities by the police or any other authorities. He is ready to look into allegations of harassment against members of the minority community in Uttar Pradesh, he added.

On POTA, Dr Singh said he would look into the matter.

UNI

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