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DECCAN CHRONICLE March 16, 2002
Women win over agitated youth with filial determination
Hyderabad, March 15: [...]
A small group of women, determined to win the agitated Muslim youth [...], formed a human chain to prevent the possible confrontation between the youth and police at Mecca Masjid on Friday.
Trained to face the risk of attack from the highly charged groups on both sides, these volunteers of Cova, a non-governmental organisation, succeeded in ensuring peace during the Friday prayers.
Assisted by their male counterparts and a few activists of Human Rights Forum and local peace committees, the women volunteers, mostly clad in burkhas, were seen persuading the youth to remain peaceful and leave the area.
'Maar lage to bhi hum yahan se hatne wale nahin. Hum yeh sochke aye hain ki hum gadbad nahi hone denge (We won't budge even if we are beaten. We've come here to ensure that there is no trouble)' Noorjahan, a middle-aged volunteer of Cova said even as the slogan shouting youth attempted to surge towards Charminar from the masjid.
At one stage, police squads armed with batons did their best to break the human chain and proceed towards the youth, who intensified the slogan shouting and resorted to mild stone throwing.
'Please don't go. Please maintain restrain, the women volunteers pleaded with the police. They cautioned that situation would turn worse if the police lose temper.
A group of policemen, led by additional DCP (task force) Mohd Iqbal, forced his way to the mob breaking the human chain. But, they were left with no option but come back as the volunteers did not allow them to surge forward.
'It is totally their success,' city police commissioner M V Krishna Rao said acknowledging the effective role played by peace committee members and women volunteers, in particular. He said the incident proved that peace committees could help in bringing a change.
Several old people were also seen pursuading the youth to leave the place without creating any trouble. Banners were also put on display on the fence of Mecca Masjid appealing to people not to spoil the sanctity of the place of worship.
The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia was formed in 1993 to combat rising religious intolerance in South Asia and to campaign for peace and justice in the region. We are committed to working towards a just, non-violent resolution of the crisis we are currently living through. If you are interested in joining us in this work, please call 617-983-3934 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
28 Jul 2007
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