State Minorities Commission submits draft copy to President

The A.P. State Minorities Commission has proposed an alternative legislation, a draft bill, to the communal and targeted violence bill to curb atrocities and attacks against minority communities in the State.

Chairman of the Minorities Commission Abid Rasool Khan accompanied by a couple of other members of the body called on President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapathi Nilayam in Bollaram here on Thursday and presented him a copy of the alternative draft on the proposed Minorities, Dalits and Other Marginalised Sections (Prevention of Atrocities) Act with a request to forward it to the State government for consideration.

Mr. Rasool Khan later told the newspersons that they had prepared an alternative bill since there was a significant resistance to the bill proposed by the Centre to curb communal and targeted violence.

The alternative bill would effectively meet the needs of the society till the Centre made a legislation, he maintained.

The Commission had received a number of petitions on atrocities and discrimination against the minorities in AP, particularly against Muslim and Christian communities.

He pointed out that the right to practice or follow one’s religion as safeguarded by the Constitution was being infringed by communal elements.

The Commission had assigned the task of preparing the alternative bill to Shafeeq Rehman Mahajir, an advocate who was earlier associated with drafting the bill on equal opportunities and the law against communal and targeted violence. It had later examined and discussed the alternative bill and had decided to request the President to recommend it to the State government for enactment to safeguard minorities’ rights, Mr. Khan said.