Kathmandu, February 18:

People from the Muslim community today demanded that the state adopt a process for the constituent assembly elections.

“The interim constitution has failed to address the issues of the Muslims. Now it should be amended and representation of the religious minority should be ensured in the interim constitution,” said Abdul Aziz Siddhiki, chairman of Jamiat Ulama-e-Nepal, a Rautahat-based intellectual forum of the Muslims, today.

Addressing a press conference here, Siddhiki demanded that constituencies be re-designed according to the population so that the Muslim community will also have its representation in the constituent assembly.

He also sought the representation of Muslims in educational bodies, commissions and development committees.

Kharik Shiddhiki, a member of the Jamiat, said political parties and their leaders remained indifferent to the problems of the Muslim community in the last 16 years.

“We were really disappointed not to hear anything about Muslims when the prime minister was addressing the nation on the Madheshi issues though a large portion of the Terai population consists of Muslims,” he said.

He strongly demanded that the government make new policies to address the demands of the Muslims.

Another member of the Jamiat, Muhammad Nasir, said that the Muslims have been involved in Nepal’s politics, society and economy for centuries.

“It was the Muslims who taught Prithvi Narayan Shah new warfare and also made arms. But now our contribution has been forgotten and we are being treated as immigrants,” he said.

He said that their culture and lifestyle was facing crisis due to lack of government’s support.

“Our children have to go to schools even on our festivals. And the court calls us on such auspicious days when we are supposed to worship God,” he said.