Muslim Board seeks fresh notification

LUCKNOW DEC. 7. The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today demanded the Uttar Pradesh Government to take necessary legal steps to ensure the prosecution of the Deputy Prime Minister, L. K. Advani, on conspiracy charges in the Babri masjid demolition case.

The Board members asked the Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, to file a "proper affidavit" in the Supreme Court in the review petition filed in the case and issue a fresh notification to ensure trial of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders in the conspiracy case in the Lucknow court, instead of the Rae Bareli court.

Replying to the demand made by the Board members, Mr. Yadav assured them that there was no change in his stand towards communal forces and that the community should not be misled by any disinformation campaign.

Mr. Yadav, however, avoided making any commitment on their demands.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Board on "Babri Masjid-solutions through legal process'', the former MP and a Board member, Syed Shahabuddin, said the minorities hoped that the Chief Minister would protect their interests. Mr. Yadav should ensure that Mr. Advani was brought to justice in the conspiracy case. Steps should also be taken to allow the trial in the two cases relating to the Babri masjid in the Lucknow court.

In an apparent reference to the proposed negotiations by the Ayodhya Jama Masjid Trust leaders with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to resolve the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, Mr. Shahabuddin said claims were being made to resolve the issue in a closed-door meeting but it was not possible. The AIMPLB alone was authorised to enter into any such negotiations.

The Board Chairman, Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadvi, said the Muslim community was not against negotiations but it should take place without any pre-conditions.

The Board spokesman, S.Q.R. Iliasi, found little substance in the proposed negotiations on behalf of the community by leaders who did not enjoy any credibility.

Muslims could accept only an equitable solution to the dispute.

Mr. Yadav told the meeting that there could be no bigger insult to him than to say he had joined hands with the communal forces and urged the minorities not to doubt his intentions. He would never compromise on principles even if it meant the fall of his Government.

However, the Chief Minister had a word of caution for the minorities.

His moves were watched by people who were ever eager to exploit the situation for political benefits.

They could incite communal passion on the slightest pretext and that was why he was overcautious about the steps being taken by his Government.

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