Muslim clerics to move apex court

On Allahabad High Court order to take way their minority status

Court order will send a negative message: Shahi ImamFatehpuri mosque Imam seeks fresh census to decide Muslims' status

NEW DELHI: Muslim religious leaders on Thursday reacted sharply to the Allahabad High Court decision taking away the minority status of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh and said they would challenge it in the Supreme Court.

``We will approach the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court decision that denies minority status to Muslims in Uttar Pradesh,'' Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmad Shah Bukhari said.

Asserting that the court's decision would send a negative message among the Muslim community, he said: ``The cleric heads of all major Muslim organisations will sit together to take an unanimous decision in the matter.''

Describing it as an ``unfortunate'' verdict, the Imam of Fatehpuri mosque Mufti Mohammed Mukaram said, ``Muslims are in a minority in the country and they should get all the benefits of their minority status.''

He questioned the criteria for the data relied upon by the Allahabad High Court.

``The census of 2001 was incomplete and at that time itself we had raised objections about its credibility. We want the Government to order a fresh census to decide about the minority status of Muslims,'' he added.