[TNN] KOZHIKODE/HYDERABAD: The managing director of Nanma Books, Abdul Rehman, was arrested on Saturday for publishing a book whose content could allegedly fan communal hatred. Rehman, a former SIMI activist, has been remanded in judicial custody.
On September 4, police raided a bookstall at Thirurangadi in the city and seized a copy of the book ‘Da’watum jihadum (Dawat and Jihad),’ the Malayalam translation of the Urdu book authored by Hyderabad-based cleric Moulana Abdul Aleem Islahi. Usman Kadungott, who translated the book into Malayalam, is still at large. “Cases have been registered under sections 153 (A) and (b) of IPC against the publisher and translator,” city police chief G Sparjan kumar said.
Police are yet to decide whether Islahi should be arraigned in the case. “We are investigating if controversial passages in the translation are present in the original work too,” a police officer said. Islahi is a preacher and rector of Jamiatul Banaat Al Islahiyah, an all-girl Islamic seminary.
According to Islahi’s son Moutasim Billah, the 86-year old cleric was expelled from the Andhra Pradesh chapter of Jamat-e-Islami Hind in 2000 for his hard line stand on the sensitive Babri Masjid issue. Incidentally, Islahi’s elder son, Mujahed Salim Azmi, was shot and killed in 2004 by suspended senior Gujarat cadre police officer Narendra Amin, currently lodged in Sabarmati Jail, whose role in alleged fake encounter cases is being probed.
When contacted, Islahi said, “I had written a book called ‘Jahiliyat Ke Khilaaf Jung’ (Struggle Against Ignorance) but no book called Dawat Aur Jihad. This book was translated into Malayalam around four years ago. Perhaps the essence of the book has been lost in translation.”
Intelligence agencies, which have been monitoring the activities of Nanma Books, alerted the state police about the book leading to the raid and seizure, the officer said. The publisher has been on the intelligence radar following suspicion that the main players are former SIMI activists.
On August 17, 2010, a book store on Kozhikode’s Court Road was raided after a Muslim extremist group chopped off the right hand of T J Joseph, a professor of Newman College, Thodupuzha town, for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad in a question paper.