Lucknow, July 15 : Muslims, Dalits and tribals will now start applying for arms licenses for self-defence, following increase in incidents of mob lynching.
The pan-India movement will commence from Lucknow on July 26.
Shia cleric and General Secretary of Majlis-e-Ulama-e-Hind, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad will be organising the first camp in Lucknow on the suggestion of Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha.
According to the cleric, these camps would be organised in at least 12 cities, including six in Uttar Pradesh, where these communities are under threat and need legal help.
"SC/ST and minorities have been pushed to the edge by the government, which is soft on perpetrators of mob violence," Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said.
"In such a scenario, there is no option left, but self-defence. Many from these communities face discrimination and they will avail of our legal expertise to fill up forms and apply for arms license." The camp will ensure that applicants with criminal antecedents or those with political or business interests are kept out.
"This campaign is not for the Shia community, in particular, but for all minorities who feel threatened. Once the applicants get their licenses, we will deploy experts for arms training. And we will also act against those who misuse their license," he said.
"Legal experts will be coming to Lucknow for holding the camp. Clerics from others sects will also be included in the movement. The brunt of mob lynching is borne by Sunnis and Dalits too," Jawwad added.
"If the government had taken strong steps against perpetrators of hate crime, we would not have had to take up such a measure. There are tough laws in the Constitution and Indian Penal Code (IPC) which the government should invoke. The draft bill on lynching is a mere eyewash. If the government wakes up, we will withdraw the movement," the cleric said.