SUMAN K. SHRIVASTAVA,

The Telegraph   Jamshedpur,

Ranchi, Nov. 30: Muslims are missing in Jharkhand too.

Although the state government failed to submit a complete picture to the Sachar Committee, even the incomplete data it furnished provides a bleak picture of Muslims employed by the state government.

The state government failed to furnish details from the Home (police) department as well as the HRD department, and hence statistics related to police constables and teachers were not provided to the Sachar Committee.

Nor did the state provide details from government employees in the districts. In fact, figures from 17 departments, including urban development, water resources, roads, transport, health, land reforms and revenue, were missing from the state government’s report submitted to the Sachar Committee as late as on November 17.

Also missing from the report were details regarding local-self-government bodies like panchayats and municipalities on the plea that they were superseded over 25 years ago and they were not elected bodies.

It merely presented details about 12,154 government employees, most of them stationed in the state capital, working in 26 departments.

Of them, it claimed, 865 are Muslims and 33 of these Muslims happen to be women.

The state, where both Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Christian churches have been active, the Muslims appear to have been politically marginalised.

There is of course no Muslim minister in the state. There was none in the earlier NDA government and not one of the 12 ministers in the UPA ministry is a Muslim either.

Out of the 80 officers in the state belonging to the Indian Police Service (IPS), only three happen to be Muslims, with one of them on central deputation. But not one district superintendent of police is a Muslim.

Although the Muslim population in the state is estimated at 37 lakh according to the 2001 census, there are only two Muslim MLAs in the Assembly with a strength of 81 elected members.

The Muslim population constitutes 13.84 per cent of the total population of the state and there are several districts, including Deoghar, Godda, Sahebganj, Pakur, Giridih, Hazaribagh and Ranchi, where their number exceeds one hundred thousand.

An official with the welfare department, the nodal agency entrusted with the task of compiling the reports, confided that although the police headquarters had asked the district police superintendents to furnish the data pertaining to them, the latter had failed to respond.

The report confirms the general trend in the rest of the country with very few Muslims in Grade A jobs. In most of the departments, there is no officer from the community at all.

Even in the industrial training institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics, there appear to be only 80 Muslim students out of 2,917 enrolled in the state — which works out to be less than three per cent.

Only one of the 22 jail superintendents and none of the eight jail doctors in the state happen to be Muslims.

Significantly, just about 10 per cent (2,669) of the jail inmates (23,363) are apparently Muslims. This would fly in the face of the stereotype that more Muslims turn to crime.