Monday, September 20, 2010

A city that makes a difference

Coordinates 20°33′N 74°33′E / 20.55°N 74.55°E / 20.55; 74.55
Country India
State Maharashtra
District(s) Nashik District
MLA Mufti Mohammed Ismail
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Malegaon is spread over 12.95 square km area and located on the Mumbai-Agra (national highway number 03);around 300km North-East from Mumbai. This taluka is considered to have been in existence right from 915 AD. Its 1,404 ft above to the sea level and is one of the five most cold areas in Maharashtra when temperature comes down upto 6 degree Celsius.

It was once a small junction known as Maliwadi (hamlet of gardens) and quickly gained the reputation for being a source of employment. When Raja Naro Shankar Raje Bahadur started building a fort in the area in 1740, a project that took 25 years, a sizeable number of Muslim workers and artisans from places like Surat and northern India settled in the area. After the British capture of the Malegaon fort in 1818, Muslims from Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh, Burhanpur etc migrated to this locality. There have been influx of migrants after the 1857 revolt and labourers came in huge number to Malegaon. As for communal riots, which became a regular feature of the country after the partition, Malegaon was severely affected during all the riots.

With more than 300 mosques (including some under construction mosques), the city has the largest Muslim population in Maharashtra pocket. The oldest mosque, Shahi Masjid, was constructed in 1798 AD in central Malegaon. The city has the credit to have been running the country's largest institution for women in Islamic studies, Jamiatus Swalehaat. Girls and women from Canada, south Africa, USA, London, Belgium, France, Italy and several other countries are currently studying there. Malegaon's 40-acre cemetery is said to be the largest in the country.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Malegaon road named after Hemant Karkare

Malegaon MLA Mufti Ismail after the nauguration in Malegaon on September 16, 2010

Mateen Hafeez

The road in Malegaon, where an RDX bomb allegedly planted by the members of Abhinav Bharat outfit killed six persons on September 29, 2008, was named after slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare on Thursday.

The inauguration of the `Shaheed Hemant Karkare Road' (between Bhikku chowk to Shashtri Chowk) was done by Malegaon MLA Mufti Mohammed Ismail. He is also the chief priest of Malegaon's Jama Masjid. ``When Muslims were being caught in terror cases, no body said terrorism has no religion. However, after Karkare exposd the saffron terrorism, people are now saying terrorism has no religion,'' said Ismail in his speech. The programme was attended by Malegaon corporation's commissioner, Jeevan Sonawane and ex-mayor, Rasheed Seth Yeolewale.

Karkare, who probed the 2008 Malegaon blast and arrested 11 members of Abhinav Bharat outfit including a serving lieutenant colonel Prasad Purohit, was killed on the mid night of November 26, 2008 when 10 Pakistani terrorists went on a mayhem in Mumbai.

Earlier, the police had refused to give a no objection certificate saying if the law and order situation goes out of the control, the road naming organisers will be held responsible. The proposal to name the road after Karkare was sanctioned by the 72-member corporation, including BJP and Sena corporators, in December 2008.