New Delhi. Several religious scholars and followers of Syed Mohammad Kazim who is the Friday prayer leader at Jama Masjid in Muzaffarpur, Bihar converged on Jantar Mantar on Sunday to protest police action against Mohammad Kazim and his family members.
The demonstrators chanted slogans against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar outside the office of Janata Dal (United), alleging that claims of ‘good governance’ in Bihar were farce as honest people were being targeted by the state machinery. Claiming that Kazim had been framed in over a dozen cases including “sedition” and “war against the state”, the protestors demanded that all the alleged false cases against him be withdrawn right away.
“Maulana Kazim has been spearheading a campaign against the corruption-ridden Bihar State Shia Waqf Board—which has been swindling Board’s property with the help of local administration and land mafia,” said a demonstrator, Syed Hassan Kazim.
“The Board members have been using their clout to silence Shabib as he has been calling for the dissolution of the Board and a government probe into massive embezzlement of public funds, and gross irregularities of Board’s properties. He has also sought eviction of land and property illegally occupied by some influential persons,” he added.
Earlier on July 22, police in Muzaffarpur reportedly used force to disperse two groups warring over Kazim’s alleged bid to execute his fatwa of locking disputed properties of Taqi Khan Waqf Board. According to a Times of India report, two senior police officers were injured during the said clashes following which at least 28 persons were taken into custody. According to police, there are as many as 14 cases and an arrest warrant pending to be executed against Kazim.
“The way police thrashed him (Kazim) and his family members including women and children, it doesn’t treat even terrorists so ruthlessly,” Maulana Mohsin Ali Taqvi, a Delhi-based scholar said and wondered, “I fail to understand on what basis police have filed so many false cases against him.”
The protesters urged the Bihar government to order the release of all detained followers of Kazim, which they say number around two dozen. Their other demands included financial compensation to the victims of police highhandedness and a thorough probe into the deals of Shia Waqf Board, Bihar.