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Weeks before Mamta Banerjee, West Bengal CM granted about 28 crore rupees for Durga Puja organizers. On Wednesday, Muslim community groups launched a massive protest in Kolkata demanding a hike in their monthly stipends which are given to imams. Hundreds of clerics and Muslim youth led by ABMYF, i.e. All Bengal Minority Youth Federation carried out central Kolkata to a standstill by raising slogans aligned with Mamta Banerjee government who failed to fulfill her promises.
Demands raised by a rally against Mamta Banerjee
A protest rally took place which demands an increment in stipend from 2000 rupees to 10000 rupees. Segments of imams partook in the rally and justified their demand by contrasting Mamta Banerjee’s recent decision to pay about 10000 rupees to every 28000 Durga Puja clubs crosswise the state. In 2011 also West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee faced the same controversy when she declared stipend to imams. Many opposition parties including BJP blamed her of indulging in pacification politics to sheltered Muslim groups.
Rally on Wednesday was led by general secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation Muhammad Kamaruzzaman. He requested Mamta Banerjee to assist to free various Waqf properties engaged allegedly by few private as well as government departments. Howrah district president of All Bengal Minorities Youth Federation, Abdul Rahim supposed ‘our demand is not only for increment in stipend for Imams. We also want that Madrasas teachers should also be hired through Madrasa Service Commission’.
About 56000 Imams are at present recovering monthly stipend of 2500 rupees and 1000 rupees correspondingly. The rally protest groups demand that the honorarium amount given to Imams must be doubled.
Abdul Rahim added ‘we applied for police acquiescence for this rally but was turned down our appeal yesterday. All Imams and Muezzins took the train and reached here early morning that came from several districts. However, the participation was so massive we determined to change the venue ‘.
Words by All Bengal Minority Youth Federation Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and others
On this matter, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman claimed that ‘we don’t require the support of government money for religious matters.’ He added that ‘government is trying to depict political mileage out of this.’ as per his views the minority community in West Bengal is entirely derived. Pro TNC leader alleged that ‘we have many hopes from Mamta Banerjee, but we are very depressed and disappointed. She has deceived us and used us only just for votes.’
Mr. Siddiqui said that ‘we have never pointed out or spoken on behalf of Mamta Banerjee as we only speak what is right and in favor of truth. There are more than 4 crore Muslim people in West Bengal state and Mamta Banerjee should not overlook them. She should not forget that we can always bring back to life the Congress or else CPI (M) from their graves as much better alternative in the state.’
Mr. Ghosh said that ‘Mamta Banerjee initiated this monthly stipend to please the Muslim community which is illegal. At present, she is trying to please Hindu community by offering an allowance to Puja organizers though nobody asked or demanded for it. She is dividing people on the basis of religion and such accession politics should finish.’ He added that Bengal also dumped the Left Front government along with ‘this government will have alike quandary if it treats us like this.’