Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday accused the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind of trying to create an “atmosphere of division and confrontation” by seeking a review of the Ayodhya verdict.
The minister said that for Muslims the important issue is not just “Babri (mosque) but barabari (equality)” in areas of education and economic and social upliftment.
Saying that everyone has the liberty to approach courts in a democracy, Naqvi added that attempts should not be made to entangle the decades-old complex issue which has been solved by a unanimous Supreme Court verdict.
“All sections of the society have welcomed and respected the Supreme Court verdict. But if some people are unable to digest the fact that the unity has been strengthened after this verdict, it is sad,” he told news agency PTI.
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind sources told PTI that the draft of the Ayodhya verdict review petition is ready and they will file the plea on December 3 or 4.
AIMPLB also said the review petition will be filed before December 9.
Naqvi slammed the AIMPLB and Jamiat, saying they are trying to create an atmosphere of division and confrontation which will not be accepted by any society.
“These isolated voices cannot be that of the whole society. The feeling of all sections of the society is that this matter has been settled by the court and we should now accept it and move forward,” he said.
“If they (AIMPLB and Jamiat) were so serious why did they not agree to a compromise when the court earlier had asked them to solve the matter through dialogue,” the senior BJP leader said.
Prior to the Supreme Court verdict, Naqvi said that both the Muslim side and the Hindu side had said they would accept the verdict. “Even at the meeting that was held at my house where representatives from various sections of the society were present, it was said in one voice that whatever be the verdict it will be accepted and honoured,” he said.
Ahead of the Ayodhya verdict, a meeting with the Muslims community’s clerics, academics and prominent persons was organised at Naqvi’s residence as part of the RSS and the BJP’s efforts to reach out to the Muslims, where participants stressed on maintaining social harmony and unity.
“Initially they (AIMPLB and Jamiat) accepted and honoured the verdict but I don’t know what is the reason and what divine enlightenment they got, that they are taking an opposite stand to what they had taken,” he said.
The minister further said that those who want to “open a new chapter will be able to do it only in their home” as the society and the country will not accept it and the matter is closed for them.
The Supreme Court announced the Ayodhya verdict on November 9 and said that the 2.77 acres of disputed land should be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, one of the three litigants. The five-judge Constitution Bench also directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya to build a mosque.
Naqvi said that acceptance of the 5-acre land was a court issue. “It is upto the parties (in the case who have been given the land) whether to accept it or not. It depends on them. As far as Ayodhya is concerned there are a number of mosques there,” he added.
Referring to some sections of the Muslim community expressing disappointment with the Supreme Court decision, the minister said that this was a civil suit in which a decision has been made and is binding on the concerned parties. He further said that the issue should not be seen as Hindu vs Muslim.
Hitting out at the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi for his remarks that Supreme Court is not “infallible”, Naqvi said that this country runs on Constitution and not on anybody’s whims and fancies. “This country runs on Constitution, on law. Nobody can apply his own law and do a postmortem of the verdict,” he said.
AIMPLB and Jamiat are expected to file a review petition this week even as the Sunni Central Waqf Board on Tuesday decided against it. The Waqf board also said it was yet to take a call on whether to accept the five-acre alternative plot for a mosque.
AIMPLB on Sunday said that 99 per cent of Muslims in the country want a review of the unanimous Supreme Court verdict.