A CLUTCH of Muslim organisations met on Friday and resolved to explore all legal actions if the Ayodhya verdict of the Supreme Court is “not satisfactory” but also stressed on the need to maintain peace and harmony “at all costs”.
There was general consensus in the meeting that the position of the Supreme Court as the principal legal recourse must be respected and legal remedies, such as review petition or any other option, could be explored.
The meeting was convened by Navaid Hamid, president of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat. It came a day after RSS leaders reached out to Muslim organisations in a Paigam e Hubbal Watni (Conference of Nationalism) where they asked the community to be vigilant against attempts to create “bhram, bhay, bhadkaw (diversion, fear, provocation)” once the verdict is out.
Wajahat Habibullah, former chairman of National Commission for Minorities who was among those who was present at the meet, told The Indian Express: “The leadership of different Muslim groups and also Muslim clerics got together because a decision on the Babri Masjid Ram Janmabhoomi dispute is expected any time now and the idea was to enjoin that peace be maintained at all costs. Whatever campaigns have been going on against the rise of communalism in the country can continue but there should be at no point any recourse to violence.”
“Whatever legal recourse would have to be taken, would be taken, there would be no letup in that. But there was a general consensus that the position of the Supreme Court as the principal legal recourse must be respected and whatever legal recourses are available after a verdict would be exercised but the public need not agitate itself on the issue,” he said.
The five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, which reserved its verdict earlier this month after conclusion of the 40-day hearing, is expected to deliver its judgment by mid-November.
Maulana Arshad Madani, president of Jamiat Ulama Hind, who also attended the meet, said personally he is not in favour of further legal action although a final call would have to be taken by all the parties and the Jamiat working committee. “This is not a two-man bench, there are five judges on the bench, the Chief Justice himself is a part of the bench. This has been going on for 70 years. We have fought from the lower courts right up to the Supreme Court so I do not see any reason to pursue it further — where does one go after the Supreme Court,” Madani said.
“Our coming together was basically to appeal to both Hindus and Muslims that whatever the verdict, there should be neither protest nor celebrations at a scale that may hurt the other community. This has been the message of the government, of (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwat and this is our message too. This is a religious dispute and its resolution should be accepted with the discipline of religion too,” he said.
A resolution passed in the meeting said: “This representative meeting while appealing to maintain the rule of law wants to draw the attention to all Indians… and urge them to honour the verdict of the Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid case… We also appeal to all countrymen to… avoid any kind of provocation and incitement and also stick to peace and optimism whatever be the circumstances.”
Among others who attended the meeting were Sadatullah Hussaini, president Jamaat e Islami Hind, Maulana Asghar Imam Mehdi Salafi, president All India Jamiat e Ahle Hadith and Maulana Ashraf Kichauchvi, president of All India Mashaikh Board.