Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Strongly condemning the terror attacks in Mumbai, minority bodies on Thursday demanded that the perpetrators and planners be brought to justice.

“The whole Indian Muslim community is saddened by the terrorist attacks. We unconditionally and with all the force at our command condemn this beastly act and consider it a crime of the most serious nature,” said the All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, the umbrella body of Muslim organisations.

In a joint statement, the leaders urged everyone to rise above politics and unitedly face this threat and refrain from using it for petty political ends.

They requested the authorities not to rush to any conclusion, as was the routine in the past, but take time to patiently probe the matter taking into account the various local and foreign powers, including foreign intelligence agencies, which might benefit from chaos and insecurity in India.

The signatories included Syed Jalauddin Ansari Umare, amir of the Jamaat-Islami Hind; Sayed Hamid, Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard; Mahmood Madni, MP and leader of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind; Syed Shahabuddin, former MP; Shahid Siddiqui, general secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party; Zafarul-Islam Khan, president of the Mushawarat; Navaid Hamid, general secretary of the Movement for the Empowerment of Muslim Indians, and S.Q.R. Ilyas, member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board.

All-India Milli Council general secretary Mohammed Manzoor Alam said the attacks were a “dangerous signal” and “it is a criminal act of demented terrorists. He said the country was at a crucial juncture and the government should fight the menace with courage and determination.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, the apex body of the Catholic Church of India, unequivocally condemned the attacks and affirmed that violence was by no means an acceptable means to achieve an end, however noble and desirable.

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