Lajja! Govt keeps mum

via published on August 11, 2007

HYDERABAD: Though embarrassed by the attack on Taslima Nasrin, the State Government is not prepared to antagonise fundamentalist Muslims in general and the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) in particular for political reasons.

Three MIM legislators, accompanied by some musclemen, attacked the exiled Bangladeshi writer at the Press Club on Thursday.

The incident came in for sharp criticism from all quarters except the MIM leadership. For its part, the Government announced that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. But facts belied the Government’s statement and the attackers were out on bail within a few hours of the incident.

Highly-placed sources said political expediency has made the Government not want to rub the MIM the wrong way. ‘‘Firstly, a majority of the Muslims supported Congress in the previous Assembly elections and in the subsequent polls held for rural and urban local bodies. Secondly, the MIM has been extending tacit support to the Government on several issues,’’ a senior minister, requesting anonymity, told this website’s newspaper.

Meanwhile, City Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh has also justified his men not booking an attempt-to-murder case.

According to another minister, the elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation are round the corner and Muslim votes would become crucial if the Congress wanted to clinch the the mayorship. ‘‘No doubt, the incident embarrassed us greatly.

But any serious action like booking of attempt-tomurder case against the MIM MLAs would have created a law and order problem. We did not want things to precipitate at this juncture as the government’s image already took some beating in the Mudigonda firing incident,’’ the minister added.

However, another minister, who was inducted into the Cabinet recently, felt that stern action against the perpetrators would have been appropriate.

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