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Wakf Board takes possession of mosque; tension at Melapalayam

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UNEASY CALM: Rapid Action Force personnel deployed in front of Masjid-ur-Rahman mosque at Melappalayam on Tuesday. Photo: A. Shaikmohideen
UNEASY CALM: Rapid Action Force personnel deployed in front of Masjid-ur-Rahman mosque at Melappalayam on Tuesday. Photo: A. Shaikmohideen

Staff Reporter

We'll not succumb to pressure and take the matter to the court: TNTJ

TIRUNELVELI: Tension prevailed over Melapalayam near Palayamkottai for a while on Tuesday after the Tamil Nadu Wakf Board took possession of Masjid-Ur-Rahman, a mosque managed by Tamil Nadu Thawheedh Jamaath (TNTJ) for the past several years.

The place of worship was dragged into a controversy after the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam wanted to administer its functioning, though the TNTJ, a breakaway group of the TMMK, governed it for the past several years. As dispute between the TNTJ and the TMMK worsened, an enquiry was conducted by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tirunelveli. The RDO, after the end of his investigation, arrived at the conclusion that the status quo would be maintained.

In this backdrop, the Wakf Board officials came to the mosque on Tuesday morning while a lot of police personnel, including members of Rapid Action Force, were deployed in front of the disputed structure. The Wakf Board inspector, B. Shahul Hameed, pasted the notice, declaring that the Masjid-Ur-Rahman would be governed by the Wakf Board from August 29 forenoon. "They should have given us enough time to present our case. However, the officials are executing the orders of Tamil Nadu Wakf Board in haste for reasons best known to them," said the advocates of TNTJ, who came to the spot.

However, Mr. Shahul Hameed assured the TNTJ cadres that he would stand neutral in this issue and would support neither TNTJ nor the TMMK.

"TMMK exerting pressure"

"After the enquiry conducted by the RDO went in favour of the TNTJ, the TMMK is exerting pressure on TNTJ through the ruling party and its ally, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Now, at the instance of the TMMK, the Wakf Board has decided to take possession of the mosque. But we'll not succumb to the pressure and take the matter to the court," said the TNTJ State secretary, M. Shamsul Luha.

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