Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Sunday asked the government to book cases against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal and Pravin Togadia for making provocative statements on the Ayodhya temple issue.
Making this demand at a media conference in Hyderabad, Board secretary Maulana Rahim Qureshi said that the cases against the VHP leaders should be booked under sections 153 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code.
He charged the VHP leaders with making attempts to create communal tensions in India all the time. Their motive was not only to disturb communal harmony and peace in the country, but also to make a direct assault on Indian secular ethos, he said.
He claimed that the government was 'turning a blind eye' towards their provocative actions and utterances.
Qureshi said that the Board would honour the court verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute.
"Our stand is very clear. The Board is looking after the judicial proceedings in the title suit of Babri Masjid before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court. When others haven't come forward to appear before Justice Liberhan Commission of Inquiry into the mosque's demolition in 1992, the Board has been appearing regularly before the commission to present relevant facts," he said.
He said that All India Babri Masjid Action Committee secretary Zafaryab Jilani, who is appearing for the Board before the court, has been authorised to present more witnesses and evidence before the Bench.
Referring to other issues discussed on the concluding day of the three-day 16th session of the board, the secretary said, "The Board expressed its deep concern over the negligence in rehabilitation of victims of Gujarat carnage. We feel that this carnage can be described as genocide. The Board also deplored the way in which the Gujarat government has neglected the task of reconstruction of the mosques and other religious places destroyed during the communal riots, though there are no constitutional and legal hurdles in rebuilding these places of worship."
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