Social activist and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind Legal Cell secretary Gulzar A. Azmi has lodged a complaint with the Mumbai police alleging death threats from the mafia, on Monday.
A member of the Maharashtra Minority Commission, Azmi, 83, said he had recently received a threat call from mafia don Ravi Pujari.
Azmi has also complained against Bharatiya Janata Party city president Ashish Shelar who had recently accused him of allegedly harbouring links with the mafia and terrorists.
Azmi flatly dismissed Shelar’s allegations: “I do not know Shelar personally. I do not take his allegations seriously and continue with my social work.”
“However, in the past, lawyers like Shahid Azmi have been killed and others like advocates Abad Ponda and Mehmud Pracha have received mafia threats… There were attacks even on film-personality Mahesh Bhatt and NCP leader Majeed Memon,” Azmi pointed out.
Accusing Shelar and an unknown police official of conspiring to eliminate him with the help of Ravi Pujari, Azmi said that in case he or his family suffers any harm, these persons should be held responsible.
Through the JUeH, he said in the past more than eight years, free legal aid has been given to innocent Muslim or Hindu youth who were illegally confined in prisons for years together.
“Hundreds of such innocent youths in various cases have been acquitted or granted bail after spending long time in jails around the country. We never got any threats till now, but after Shelar’s demand to ban the JUeH, we are suddenly being targeted now,” Azmi contended.
Till date, the JUeH has extended free legal aid to more 400 accused in 55 cases around the country after vetting their case by expert lawyers and checking the victims’ antecedents.
“Several time, innocent Muslim youth have been arrested in the guise of investigations or national security…This is a serious matter, and if we are satisfied that the victim is innocent, we fight his case for free,” Azmi explained.
Besides Azmi, the JUeH office-bearers Maulana Mustaqeem Azmi and Maulana Haleemullah Qasmi, representatives of All India Ulama council, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamaat-E-Islami, Mumbai Aman Committee, Khoja Shia Asna Asari Jamat and others were present at the media briefing to express solidarity.