Ahead of verdict, Muslim leaders appeal for calm

Ahead of verdict, Muslim leaders appeal for calm

They urged Muslims across the country to maintain peace even if the verdict went against them. At its meeting in New Delhi, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board Committee on Babri Masjid decided to issue an appeal to Muslims to exercise restraint.

It also sought a statement from the government that it would come down heavily on elements trying to disturb law and order. "We will tomorrow issue an elaborate appeal to the community through all Muslim organisations," Convenor of the Committee S R Ilyas told PTI.

"We will send a message asking the Muslim community that there should not be any reaction whatever the verdict may be. There should neither be any celebration nor any expression of anger or protest," he said.

Emphasising that the option of appealing to the Supreme Court was still open after the verdict, he said they would abide by the final judicial verdict on the issue. "Our movement will end after the final verdict of the Supreme Court," Ilyas said.

In Hyderabad, AIMPLB Acting General Secretary Rahim Qureshi appealed to the community to remain calm even if the judgement went against it. "There is no need to react even if the verdict goes against us. Still, we have the option to approach the Supreme Court," he told PTI.

"The AIMPLB is seized of the matter and will do whatever necessary to protect the interest of Muslims within the framework of Constitution," said Qureshi, who is also spokesman of the Board.

Besides appealing for calm, the government should send a strong message that law-breakers would be dealt with sternly, Ilyas said. The Committee on Babri Masjid also appealed to all the people in the country to maintain peace and consider the issue as a dispute to be resolved by the court.

Prominent Muslim leaders like Syed Shahabuddin and Kamal Farooqi attended the meeting while Zafaryab Jilani took part through tele-conferencing. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court is slated to deliver the verdict on the 60-year-old Ayodhya title suit on September 24.

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