3 Muslim women from Kerala barred at PM event, told to remove veil

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Muslim organisations have decided to take up the issue at the national level.

Kozhikode: The Muslim organisations in the state are up in arms against the prime minister’s security officials for harassing a Muslim women’s delegation to a meeting attended by Mr Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Women’s Day.

Three women Muslim panchayat presidents from north Kerala, who wore the black veil, were humiliated by the security officials when they went to participate in the national camp of Swachh Bharat Mission, called Swachh Shakthi- 2017. They were part of the 115-member delegation from the state.

Mooppainadu panchayat president Shaharban Saithalavi removed the veil with protest, while two other women delegates from Kasargod refused to participate in the programme without the veil.

Shaharbhan told DC that the security guards refused to allow her into the meeting citing security threat.

“Later, the Swachh Bharat Mission coordinators from Kozhikode intervened and allowed me to wear the veil,” she said.

The organisers later informed that there was a direction to the delegates to avoid wearing black dress and that the veil was removed by mistake as per the order.

However, the Muslim organisations have decided to take up the issue at the national level. The Indian Union Muslim League would organise a protest on Thursday and observe a black day in the state and hold protest marches at all district headquarters.

IUML state general secretary K.P.A. Majeed told DC that the harassment meted out to the Muslim delegates was indicative of Mr Modi’s attitude towards the Muslim community. Each community has the right to wear its particular dresses and religious symbols. Nuns, priests and Sikhs wear the dress in tune with their culture and identity.

“Modi should realise that it is not the first time Muslim women are participating in a programme organized by the prime minister.”

“Such harassments happen only after Modi came to power,” he added.

“If the security staff were so particular about the veil, they could have searched the woman by removing the veil and allowed her to wear it afterwards,” he said.

The union government should take immediate action against the officials who harassed the delegate, said Women’s League national general secretary Noorbina Rasheed.

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