Mumbai: HC admits Islamic body's plea demanding Rs 10 crore from cops

The Bombay High Court has accepted a suit from the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, seeking Rs 10 crore in compensation for jihad claims made in ‘defamatory’ circular

Mumbai Police seems to be in trouble, with the Bombay High Court yesterday admitting a petition from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind demanding R10 crore for leaking a defamatory circular against it in 2013.

In March 2013, the Mumbai police’s Special Branch (SB), which keeps a tab on unlawful activities, had issued a confidential circular that was leaked from the department to the media. The circular stated that cops should keep an eye on the Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO) — the Jamaat’s daughter organisation — which was allegedly brainwashing young girls and training them for jihad. Two female heads of the organisation were also named in the circular.

The Jamaat had taken strong objection to the circular and asked the police to verify the claim first and not defame them publicly.

“We demanded that the person who leaked the circular should be booked by the police and that we should be compensated to the tune of Rs 10 crore for the defamation of our organisation without any proper investigation,” said Aslam Kazi, president of the Association of Protection of Civil Rights, an NGO backed by the Jamaat.

“GIO is our daughter organisation, instituted to provide girls with both Islamic and modern education. The police circular had alleged that in Kerala, the group was training girls for jihad,” added Kazi.

During the last hearing, the court had asked the Mumbai police to file a reply as to how the circular was leaked. The state government’s representative, Purnima Kantharia, had told the bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and GS Kulkarni that the circular was sent to around 37 police departments and it would be too difficult to find out where it had been leaked. It was after this that the court admitted the Jamaat’s petition.

'Social reformers'
In 2013, mid-day had reported about the circular, which stated that the Girls’ Islamic Organisation (GIO) was instructing girls in the Quran and Hadis and the main purpose was to tap extremist elements in schools and colleges in India. However, the Jamaat chief Tauffiq Aslam Khan had told this reporter then: “We are not a violent organisation. Our job is to connect with Muslims across the country and do good work. We work for social reforms and fight for women’s rights too. We do believe in Jihad, but in non-violent, spiritual Jihad.”

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