Islamic Human Rights Commission


For immediate Release

Curfew continues in Muslim areas of historic Indian city

IHRC has grave concerns for the safety of several Muslims detained under Indian security legislation after police opened fire on two processions in the last week in Lucknow, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in India.

The first procession on Thursday 26 June, was to mark a religious anniversary in the Muslim calendar. Muslims from both the Sunni and Shia Muslim communities attended the procession which has been banned since the 1970s. According to the BBC World Service, four were killed when police opened fire on the march, although other sources put the figure slightly higher.

A 24 hour curfew has been imposed on Muslim areas since Thursday. A protest on the following Saturday, in defiance of the curfew, against the detentions was again fired upon by police. The figure for casualties is unknown. Detainees from both incidents are held under Indian internal security laws, which allow detention for up to two years without charge.

IHRC is particularly concerned about the fate of Maulana Kalbe Zawad, who was taken from his home by police in the early hours of Sunday, and transferred to prison in Madhya Pradesh State (central India). No charges have been made, and his removal to such a distance indicates no early release.

IHRC has added Maulana Kalbe Zawad’s name to its list of Prisoners of Faith, and calls on the Indian authorities to release all political detainees immediately. IHRC Chairman, Massoud Shadjareh, said:

“It is unacceptable that the rights of so many people can be trampled upon by a country which claims to be the world’s largest democracy. If India is to be taken seriously in its claim, it must lift the curfew and release detainees immediately. Its actions in Lucknow, are simply the latest in a long list of human rights abuses perpetrated against India’s minority communities.”

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