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'Nationalist Muslims' call for unity

February 12, 2005 17:04 IST

Undeterred by protests from several organisations, a conference of 'nationalist Muslims' started in Jaipur in Rajasthan on Saturday with a call for bringing the community into the national mainstream.

"Political vested interests are not allowing the Muslims to prosper," said Muzaffar Khan, the convener of My Hindustan, a Bharatiya Janata Party-supported body, in his inaugural address.

He added that Muslims have been reduced to a mere vote bank. "Muslims need education and economic support much more than others but they are getting mere slogans from their so-called leaders," Khan said.

Supporting Khan's contention, Mayor of Jaipur Municipal Corporation Ashok Parnami said India could become much more stronger by uniting the Hindu and Muslim community.

The district administration had promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code around the venue of the conference on Friday night when some protestors staged a dharna at the Musafirkhana gate.

Later, the protestors were forcibly removed.

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