AGRA: Muslims in Agra on Monday tried to take out a “Tiranga Yatra” (tricolour march) but were held back at the Shahid Smarak, where they presented a memorandum to a district official, listing a set of demands and grievances.
The Tiranga Yatra was in response to a similar yatra last week by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Over a 100 Muslims, comprising youth, senior community leaders, Ulemas and Maulvis, led by Shabana Khandelwal, gathered at the Shahid Smarak with the national tricolour. But senior police officials said due to Section 144 being in force, the procession could not be permitted.
Khandelwal said, “a wrong message is being propagated in the society that Muslims have issues with Tiranga and today’s march was organised to send out a clear message across the nation that Muslims respect the Tri-colour and they can do anything for it”.
Khandelwal told IANS: “Our Tiranga Yatra was non-political and through this we want to demonstrate our firm solidarity with the nation and our patriotism including our love for the national tricolour.
“For no rhyme or reason Muslims were being targeted and branded as being opposed to the national patriotic fervour.
The Muslims have made tremendous sacrifices both during the Independence movement and after during the wars and in the national developmental process.”
The demonstrators shouted “Pakistan Murdabad”.
In their memorandum addressed to the President of India, they demanded fair treatment, and safety to Muslims and their institutions.
“In the name of ‘Vande Matram’, many people were pointlessly harassed. This should stop. Also in the name of ‘Love Jihad’ and cow slaughter, many Muslims have suffered.” Also, they should not be treated as second class citizens,” Shabana added.
They demanded a judicial probe in the Kasganj incident and fair compensation to the family of Chandan Gupta, who was killed in sectarian violence in the Uttar Pradesh town last month.