Do not be provoked, Muslim leaders tell community

The VHP has said the supply of stones would increase in the coming months.

Updated - November 17, 2021 02:13 am IST

Published - December 23, 2015 12:34 am IST - LUCKNOW:

The unrestrained entry of the stones, however, has instilled doubts in the minds of Muslims. —Special Arrangement

The unrestrained entry of the stones, however, has instilled doubts in the minds of Muslims. —Special Arrangement

For most Muslims in the twin cities of Ayodhya-Faizabad, the arrival of a fresh consignment of stones for the construction of a Ram Mandir has brought back a sense of caution, if not fear and insecurity.

For some, in particular, those living in proximity to the disputed structure, it triggered a faint reminder of 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished. Most compared it to the attempt by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to lead an 84-Kosi Parikrama Yatra in 2013 against prohibitory orders, heightening communal tension.

To maintain communal harmony, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered his senior-most officials to be on vigil. The government has also sought a “confidential report” from the intelligence department about the activities of the VHP.

The unrestrained entry of the stones, however, has instilled doubts in the mind of Muslims, whose leaders are working to ensure that the community does not give in to the “provocation”.

The VHP has said the supply of stones would increase in the coming months.

Zafaryab Jilani, Babri Action Committee convenor, said the arrival of stones and the comments thereafter were a “deliberate attempt” by the VHP to incite a Muslim reaction in order to communalise the atmosphere before the 2017 Assembly elections. Mr. Jilani appealed to Muslims to refrain from any sort of provocative statements.

“Our worry is not so much about the arrival of stones for the Mandir—that is a sub-judice matter and nothing can be done against the Supreme Court order—but we are concerned about the inflammatory speeches given by the VHP and its affiliated leaders. Such comments can spoil communal harmony,” Mr.Jilani told The Hindu .

As per the Supreme Court order, which makes it unlawful to engage in any sort of construction in and around the 67 acres of disputed land, the latest transportation was “illegal,” said Khaliq Ahmed Khan, convenor of the Faizabad Hilal Committee.

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