An image with photographs of Muslim religious figures, along with a message asking voters to press NOTA on the EVMs in the upcoming municipal polls in view of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s ‘silence’ on implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register, was widely shared on social media, creating confusion among several people. The message has since been found to be fake.
The image has mugshots of religious leaders such as Hamed Mohammad Khan from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, cleric Maulana Mohammed Husamuddin Sami, Syed Ahmedul Hussaini Sayeed Qadri, and Maulana Hafiz Peer Shabbir from Jamiat-e-Ulama, among others. Many of the religious leaders are from the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen-backed United Muslim Forum.
A statement, wrongly attributed to Muslim religious leaders, nearly a month after their meeting with the CM, claims that no clarity on the CAA-NRC-NPR has since come forward. The ‘statement’ then urges voters to ‘vote in favour of NOTA’.
The Hindu spoke to at least four religious leaders who said they had not issued any statement in connection with the civic polls. “This so-called statement is completely fake. Neither I, nor other ulama (religious leaders) have made such comments. We are indeed against CAA, NRC and NPR. We went to meet the CM in this regard. But it is for the CM and Home Minister Mahmood Ali to take a final call. While the Home Minister has spoken against NRC, he is yet to speak against NPR. We are confident the Telangana government will take the right decision,” Maulana Sayeed Qadri said.
Later in the day, United Muslim Forum general secretary Syed Muneeruddin Mukhtar issued a statement. “This is rumour mongering and an attempt to deceive the public. The United Muslim Forum has taken a note of this mischief and will take legal action against those responsible,” the statement read.