Ayub Sheikh, the founder member of the Vijay Tarun Mandal says
“No Muslim should feel offended or hurt by the video that will be screened at our pandal. The menace of youths joining terrorist organisations is not a social work. We should create an awareness against it, which is the need of the hour”.
Mandal president Nadeem Aaga also seconded his opinion.
The Maharashtra Police on Thursday denied permission to a Ganesh mandal’s plan to screen a video on the four Kalyan youths who are believed to have joined the Islamic State (IS). The mandal’s counsel Bhikaji Salvi, however, claimed that they secured a stay order from the Bombay High Court against the police action.
The police served the notice to the Kalyan-based Vijay Tarun Mandal, asking it to delete a major portion of the 10-minute video if it wants to go ahead with the screening. The video clip reportedly seeks to garner public opinion on the issue of Muslim youths being indoctrinated by Islamic extremists.
Mandal organisers claimed that they had been debating “social and contemporary topics and displaying related visuals” at pandals for the past 51 years. As per the rules, the organisers of Ganesh festivities have to seek permission from the police and will also have to explain to them in detail the theme of the show. The police in their notice said that the content of the video footage would hurt the sentiments of other communities and create a law and order problem.
However, the pandal organisers claimed that the show was intended to create social awareness. “The show was intended to create awareness on the problem of youths being indoctrinated by Islamic extremists. They make these youths abandon their studies and carry out terrorist activities across the world,” said Vijay Salvi, one of the trustees of Vijay Tarun Mandal.
Vijay Tarun Mandal, according to organisers, has members belonging to both Hindu and Muslim communities.
“No Muslim should feel offended or hurt by the video that will be screened at our pandal. The menace of youths joining terrorist organisations is not a social work. We should create an awareness against it, which is the need of the hour,” said Ayub Sheikh, the founder member of the Vijay Tarun Mandal. Mandal president Nadeem Aaga also seconded his opinion.
Mandal counsel Salvi said the organisers would remove the image of mosque from the poster as it was the place of worship. “This shows that Vijay Mandal has more respect for Muslims’ place of worship. At the same time, these misled youth believe that they would go to heaven by becoming a jehadi. Whether one goes to heaven or not is decided by their deeds, and I personally do not think heaven would welcome these misguided youths,” said Sheikh.
Vijay Tarun Mandal has reportedly received several awards and recognitions from the police for organising disciplined and peaceful Ganesh festivities.
Arif Majeed, one of the four youngsters from Kalyan suspected of joining Sunni insurgents in Iraq, reportedly died in a bomb blast in Mosul a few days ago.
Although Maharashtra ATS and Thane police have no official confirmation of his death, Arif’s family performed ‘Janaza-e-gayabana’ (prayers for the departed soul in absence of the body) on Wednesday, a family friend Ateek Khan told agencies.
As per reports, Shaheen Tanki, who along with Arif, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh and Aman Naim Tandel, had disappeared during a trip to Iraq in May, called his family on Tuesday and informed them about his death.
According to sources, the Thane police said till they receive official confirmation about the death of Arif, they would continue to treat the matter as a missing case. However, an officer in Maharashtra ATS, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “There is no reason to disbelieve the information about Arif’s death in a bomb blast in Iraq.”