The Calcutta High Court order to stop payment of a monthly allowance to thousands of imams and muezzins has created a rift among those who had been enjoying the cash bonanza.
While most imams and muezzins preferred not to comment on the issue saying it was a legal matter,Md Mahroof Salafi,imam of Jamia Masjid,said it was not possible to accept the verdict.
The state government took the decision to pay honorarium to the imams as they are poor. More than 30,000 imams and muezzins were getting the monthly stipend from Wakf Board for over a year now. If the government decided to pay money to the poor people,what was wrong in it? Salafi asked.
Expressing hope that the state government will challenge the High Court ruling in the Supreme Court,Salafi said the Opposition BJP had filed the case to malign Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with a political motive.
However,two other imams Maulana Shafique Quazmi of Nakhoda mosque and Syed Md Nurur Rahaman Barkati of Tipu Sultan mosque refused to comment.
If the high court felt it was illegal,as an imam I should not say anything, Quazmi said.
Barkati too said the High Court was a judicial body,so the ruling is final and as an imam,I should remain silent he said.