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Deendar Anjuman (DA)

Hazrat Moulana Deendar Channabasaveshwara Siddiqui formed the currently proscribed Deendar Anjuman (DA) sect in 1924 in Bellampet in the Gulbarga district of Karnataka state. For more than seven decades, the sect functioned in a low-key manner without any publicity. The activities of this Sufi sect, which preaches that Islam is a mixture of local cultures, religions and traditions came into prominence in the aftermath of 13 bomb explosions at various places of worship across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka between May and July 2000. Syed Zia-ul-Hassan, Anjuman founder Deendar Channabasaveshwara Siddiqui's son, is alleged to have masterminded these blasts. He is reported to have migrated to Pakistan after Partition and is now the DA's spiritual head. Hassan, who is reportedly based in Peshawar, is also alleged to have floated a terrorist outfit named the Jamaat-e-Hizbul Mujahideen in Pakistan. The DA’s headquarters is located in Hyderabad, where they have their own colony, including a mosque and a madrassa. The present Chief of the sect is one Sayyid Imam, who presides over a team of approximately 100 muballighs or missionaries.

The Deendar Anjuman (‘The Religious Association’) perceives Islam as the only true global religion and regards Prophet Mohammed as the final prophet whose teachings stand the test of time and space. Uniquely, the sect interprets Islam as the logical conclusion of the spiritual beliefs of all ‘true Hindus’. Even while it claims that all religions are equal, the DA cadres believe that Islam is ‘superior’ and all other religions either begin from there or merge with it and are therefore ‘incomplete’ and that Islam should prevail. Consequent to the propagation of such beliefs, it was long ostracised by orthodox Muslims. It also aims to convert India into an Islamic state primarily through proselytisation and preaching. Resultantly, this aim is said to have brought the outfit closer to the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the external intelligence agency of Pakistan. It is also reported to have developed close links with other Islamic fundamentalist outfits in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia recently. Currently, it is reported to have established 150 branches comprising approximately 15,000 followers in India with Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh as its base. The main villages and towns where the outfit operates are Nuzvid, Atmakur, Kurukunda, Palem, Vijayawada, Khammam and Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh, Batakurki, Ramdurg and Hubli in Karnataka. The extensive raids and searches on the houses of many DA cadres following the series of bomb blasts have reportedly revealed that at least a hundred of them including Syed Khalid Uz Zaman, the sect’s Chief in Southern India travelled to Pakistan in the last few years to receive arms training from the ISI.

The sect members have been currently trying to drive a wedge between different sections of people in the three states in which it has a presence. Official sources consider the bomb explosions that were allegedly carried out by the sect to be part of their strategy of not killing anyone but to extensively damage the targets. The outfit reportedly had plans to target significant infrastructure installations, including railways, telecom networks, electricity grids and oil refineries. The underlying idea is to create differences between the majority and minority communities and weaken them and consequently initiate a ‘Jehad’. Official sources in Andhra Pradesh are reported to have indicated that the Deendar Anjuman’s annual inter-religious dialogue held in Hyderabad and the peace conferences were merely a ‘guise’, under which the outfit planned to spread terror through violence and incite communal trouble in the state and in other parts of the country. With the seizure of anti-Christian literature from the Vijayawada office of the DA in July 2000, the idea of exploiting the minority syndrome or the insecurity of minorities and their fears in a deliberate and planned manner came to light.

Some DA cadres are also reportedly involved in the destruction of several statues of the B R Ambedkar at several places in Andhra Pradesh, in an effort to instigate conflict between Dalits and caste Hindus. Awanul-Nas, the book containing the core teachings of Deendar Anjuman reportedly exhorts the Muslims in India to work for the welfare of Pakistan. Recent news reports citing official sources have indicated that the DA is engaged in forcible conversion by preaching secession. While the sect is called Deendar Anjuman in India, in Pakistan its name is Anjuman Hizbullah and is located in Mardan. The DA's spiritual head Syed Zia-ul-Hassan is alleged to have visited India once every year to communicate the outfit’s agenda to the cadres.

The Union government on April 27, 2000, imposed a ban on the Deendar Anjuman under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for two years for their alleged involvement in the serial blasts in the three southern states. Following investigations into the serial blasts that were carried out in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, 40 persons including seven Pakistanis were arrested.





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