Amid last-minute preparations for the inauguration of Azam Khans Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur by Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav in the presence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Shahi Imam of Delhis Jama Masjid Ahmed Bukhari announced that he would reach Rampur on Tuesday along with the relatives of persons who lost their lives in the police firing in Masuri in Ghaziabad last Friday.
Even three days after the incident,no one from the ministry has the time to visit Masuri. Now they are all going to the function where they will be felicitated with flowers, Imam Bukhari told The Indian Express. He also said he had informed Mulayam about his decision.
Six persons lost their lives when a protest against a sacrilegous incident turned violent in Masuri. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh of each victim.
Both Mulayam and Akhilesh,along with several ministers,will be in Rampur for the inauguration of the private university which is Azams dream project. Bukhari and Azam share a strong personal dislike for each other and have been invovled in bitter verbal duels in the past.
Bukhari said that the relatives of those killed in Masuri met him on Monday in Delhi and narrated the police atrocities. There were brutal killings by police,they shot them inside their houses. Hundreds were severely beaten up. But no one from Lucknow visited the place, he said.
I rang up Mulayam and explained the episode. I also apprised him that I am coming to Rampur along with relatives of the victims, said Bukhari.
The cleric said he told Mulayam you will be greeted with flowers and our communitys children are being killed. This will not be allowed. He added,If they are so apprehensive about my Rampur visit,let them come and meet me at Moradabad.
However,Bukhari denied any opposition to Jauhar Universitys inauguration function. He added that Mulayam had called him up several times,urging him to defer his programme to visit Rampur but he would not relent.
Mulayam told me that Akhilesh would be coming along with him to Masuri. But my point is that first you should wipe the tears of the victims,then rejoice and celebrate at any function, Bukhari said.
Last week,Bukhari had decried the Akhilesh government for not fulfilling the expectations of Muslims in its first six months.