Leaders of two major Muslim organisations — Darul Uloom Deoband and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind — have refused to take part in talks for a truce in strife-hit Saharanpur.
However, Punjab’s Shahi Imam Maulana Habibur Rahman Sani Ludhianvi said he would take up the issue with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders for restoring normalcy. In a bid for peace, Punjab Assembly Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal met UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, who appraised him of the current situation in the town and said the state government will follow the court order over the disputed plot.
Communal clashes in Saharanpur over fresh construction work on the plot had resulted in the deaths of three people on Saturday.
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Keeping off the efforts for peace talks between the two communities, Maulana Ashraf Usmani, press secretary, Darul Uloom Deoband told The Indian Express, “We appeal for peace from both the communities. But, we cannot interfere. It is for other responsible persons to initiate peace talks. We can only provide guidance if desired.” Deoband is nearly 40 km from Saharanpur.
“The issue was nearly resolved earlier when the other party agreed to leave the portion for masjid. Issue reignited when that portion was included in construction. This can be solved through dialogue only,” Usmani stated.
Meanwhile, Arshad Madani, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, who was at the forefront of interacting with the UP government after the Muzaffarnagar riots, has refused to get involved in any such process. “Earlier, no one approached me. Now, when a Muslim had sold off the land how can we expect that the other community will protect the mosque. Riots were unfortunate and both the communities suffered major losses,” Madani, who hails from Saharanpur, said.
Punjab’s Shahi Imam said, “Most SAD leaders come to my place on Eid. Tomorrow, I will surely take up the case with them. ”