World Bulletin / News Desk
A shocking court order was issued in June by Judge L R Pansare that the 19 Muslims held in an Indian prison in Mumbai are not going to be given food for sahoor, pre-dawn meal, or iftar, the fast-breaking evening meal.
“Every year they allow homemade food and other things like dates and fruits to be served to these accused by their family members,” Gulzar Azmi, General Secretary of Jamiat Umena-e-Hind in Maharashtra, told OnIslam.net.
“We were expecting the same this year also but they have been refused,” he added.
The request was made to offer Muslims, who are facing trial in Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) court, meals in times close to suhoor and iftars as the prison offers meals in set timings that never change.
Even though they were allowed to have food in earlier Ramadans, the new judge has decided not to allow them outside food for the holy month.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind rejected this discriminatory rule and took it to High Court where the decision was backtracked later.
“We held a discussion and came to the conclusion that under Jail Manual, there is no such provision for getting homemade food. And in two cases, judges have allowed them,” Gulzar Azmi said.
“If we approach the High Court and if they decide against us, then all the accused would be denied homemade food. Now they are in the same jail and can share their food with each other.
“We have also requested the Minorities Commission (Minorities Commission of India deals with issues affecting the non-Hindu religious minorities, including Muslims) to approach the government so that the remaining accused could also get homemade food,” he added.
Relatives of those accused were not happy with the decision made by the judge.
“We know that they have been falsely implicated in the case and are behind bars for a crime they didn’t commit. They should have been allowed to discharge their religious obligation,” said a relative of an accused who didn’t want to be named.
“We know that the Allah is with them and they will come out clean. But still we feel that during the month of Ramdan when we have to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk, the honorable judge should have considered their case sympathetically,” he added.Last Mod: 02 Temmuz 2014, 11:47