Guj: Eid-e-Milad processions called off in cities

Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel patrol a street as a precautionary measure after Supreme Court's historic verdict on the Ayodhya land case, in Ahmedabad, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. The apex court on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya. (PTI Photo)

The Muslim community in several cities in Gujarat has decided to call off processions to mark Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, to be held on Sunday, Ahmedabad Congress MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh said.

These processions will not be held in Ahmedabad, Surat, Godhra and Bharuch, all cities with sizable Muslim populations, he added.

In a statement, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi Central Committee of Ahmedabad said the decision to cancel the procession was taken on Saturday evening after consulting community leaders, MLAs and scholars.

"In view of the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya today, we have decided not to take out Eid-e-Milad procession on Sunday. Though police have given us permission, we feel a stray incident during the procession can vitiate the peaceful atmosphere. We want communal harmony to remain intact," said Habib Mev, the committee's general secretary.

He claimed it is the first time in three decades that the procession has been cancelled in Ahmedabad.

"Before taking this decision, we consulted leaders, including Shaikh. All of them advised us not to take out the procession in the interest of peace and harmony. We have learnt that committees in other cities have also decided likewise," said Mev.

The procession in Ahmedabad, normally comprising 100 trucks, moves for about three kilometres in Muslim dominated areas of the Old City and over 4 lakh people take part in it, he said.

"Looking at the current situation, small mischief can create a law and order situation. As per my knowledge, 99 per cent processions to be taken out tomorrow across the state have been called off for the sake of peace and communal harmony," said Dariyapur MLA Shaikh.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

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