In a core committee meeting on Sunday, a sharp rift seemed evident as Mufti Shamoon Qasmi stormed out of the meeting and announced his resignation to the media, alleging that the movement was turning “anti-Muslim” and there was no place for him in it. Qasmi was the sole Muslim in Team Anna's core committee.
Team Anna, had earlier asked that audio recordings of the Lokpal joint drafting committee be made public, claimed Qasmi was expelled for secretly recording the meeting.
Qasmi's association with India Against Corruption(IAC) goes back to Commonwealth Games 2010 when social activist Arvind Kejriwal was campaigning against financial irregularities in the conduct of Games. When IAC launched the Lokpal movement, Qasmi actively participated in the crusade.
Qasmi hails from Uttar Pradesh' Bijnor district. In Bijnor, he runs the organisation Rashtriya Sarvadharm Ekta Parishad.
He was an active member of Jamat-e-Islami, a Muslim socio- cultural organisation during early 1990s. He is a former All India Imams’ Organisation general secretary, and a champion of Pulse Polio cause in Bijnore. However, Shamoon Qasmi is a somewhat divisive figure in his own community.
When the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari had urged Muslims to stay away from Team Anna movement saying it was against the basic tenets of Islam — Qasmi, a student of Darul Uloom Deoband, joined the movement saying it was high time Muslims stopped being led by the Shahi Imam.
Despite attending core committee meetings regularly, Qasmi’s presence was largely believed to be symbolic as he hardly ever addressed the media.
Soon after leaving Deoband in the early 1990s, he had a brief stint with the Jamaat-i-Islami and was among those arrested for the October 1990 Bijnore riots, according to Indian Express.
After getting out of prison, he became a vocal advocate of communal harmony. He soon went on to become the vice president of New Delhi based Foundation for Religious Harmony and Universal Peace. In his quest to bring communal harmony, he has shared the stage not just with Team Anna, but also with Baba Ramdev several times.
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Updated Date: Apr 23, 2012 08:53:34 IST