Uni­form civil code: Govt firm, show­down ahead 6 kids die in Ban­dra bldg col­lapse

STRONG RE­AC­TION Mus­lim law panel says Modi govt cre­at­ing ‘in­ter­nal war’

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Zia Haq and Ku­mar Ut­tam let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com San­jana Bhalerao san­jana.bhalerao1@hin­dus­tantmes.com

An in­flu­en­tial Mus­lim body said on Thurs­day the BJP-led gov­ern­ment was cre­at­ing an “in­ter­nal war” by try­ing to re­view the com­mu­nity’s per­sonal laws on di­vorce and polygamy, set­ting the stage for a po­lit­i­cal show­down ahead of as­sem­bly elec­tions in five states early next year.

The All-In­dia Mus­lim Per­sonal Law Board (AIMPLB) said it will re­sist the Cen­tre’s at­tempt to re­place di­verse cus­tom­ary laws gov­ern­ing mar­riage, di­vorce and in­her­i­tance with a set of iden­ti­cal civil laws, the so-called uni­form civil code.

Law min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad told HT that the gov­ern­ment was stead­fast on its stand that ‘triple ta­laq’ — un­der which a man di­vorces his wife by say­ing the Urdu word for di­vorce three times – must go.

“All com­mu­ni­ties have dif­fer­ent cus­toms and tra­di­tions. Our Con­sti­tu­tion ac­cepts that. Mem­bers of the All In­dia Mus­lim Per­sonal Law Board ad­dress a press con­fer­ence in New Delhi on Thurs­day.

It’s a dan­ger­ous idea to treat them with a sin­gle yard­stick. We op­pose this,” Maulana Wali Rehmani, a Mus­lim leader said.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion would “legally” and “demo­crat­i­cally” fight any at­tempt to have a uni­form civil code, he said.

The AIMPLB, an ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion, seeks to pro­tect le­gal sanc­tions to a bunch of sharia-com­pli­ant cus­toms gov­ern­ing mar­riage, prop­erty and di­vorce. The same laws also al­low polygamy among Mus­lims.

In­dia has sep­a­rate sets of per­sonal laws for each reli­gion and de­mands for over­haul­ing these codes date back decades.

Crit­ics say triple ta­laq, by al­low­ing sum­mary di­vorce, dis­crim­i­nates against women.

Six chil­dren from the same fam­ily died af­ter a five­storey build­ing col­lapsed in a nar­row, con­gested Ban­dra (East) slum in Behram­pada, Ban­dra (East) on Thurs­day. The youngest vic­tim was a year old.

The ground-plus-four struc­ture came crash­ing down at 1:40 pm. Five oth­ers were in­jured, in­clud­ing the mother of five of the chil­dren. Two of the se­ri­ously in­jured have been ad­mit­ted to Bhabha hos­pi­tal.

One of them, Ab­dul Salam Shaikh, was in­jured while help­ing the vic­tims.

The chil­dren who lost their life in­clude Aysha Ak­bar Khan, 13, Alin­isar Ah­mad Khan, 3, Osama Nisar Khan, 14, Afifa Sadab, 1, Aribi Nisar Khan, 2, and Ru­sada Nisar Khan, 16.

Three other chil­dren from the fam­ily and their fa­ther Mo­ham­mad Nisar and grand­fa­ther Ab­dul Rauf es­caped be­fore the build­ing col­lapsed.

“My six grand­chil­dren were trapped in­side the de­bris. They were liv­ing on the first floor. Three other chil­dren were in school and are un­harmed,” said Ab­dul Rauf.

The struc­ture housed four fam­i­lies, said lo­cals.

Two fam­i­lies were liv­ing in­side the struc­ture at the time of in­ci­dent. Of­fi­cials said res­i­dents had un­der­taken ren­o­va­tion with­out per­mis­sion.

Of­fi­cials said the en­tire struc­ture was made of brick and mor­tar and the col­lapse oc­curred be­cause of the weight of the il­le­gal up­per floors on the weak base­ment. Res­cue work­ers look for survivors at the site of the col­lapse in Behram­pada, Ban­dra (East), on Thurs­day.

SONU ME­HTA/HT

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