NSA Doval reaches out to religious leaders in peace bid

NSA Ajit Doval speaks during an inter-religious faith meeting at his residence in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

A day after the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Sunday reached out to prominent religious leaders as part of efforts to maintain peace and order across the country.

Thirty religious leaders and pontiffs, including the head of Ajmersharif shrine Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, Shia cleric Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad, Avedheshananda Giri of the Juna Akhara, Chidananda Saraswati of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswami of the Suttur Mutt gathered at Doval's residence Sunday afternoon to discuss the apex court verdict.

“The interaction helped to strengthen communication between top religious leaders to maintain a spirit of amity and brotherhood amongst all communities,” a joint statement issued after the four-hour meeting said.

The religious leaders pledged support to the government in all steps to maintain peace and order and also appealed for maintaining peace and tranquillity amidst apprehensions that some anti-national elements may try to “exploit the situation”.

“Those attending the meeting were alive to the fact that certain anti-national and hostile elements, both within and outside the country, may attempt to exploit the situation to harm our national interest,” the statement said.

“We have been saying that we will honour the verdict of the Supreme Court. When the day came whatever was said about became clear. All apprehensions about law and order post-Supreme Court verdict were proven wrong,” Maulana Asghar Ali Salafi, President, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind said after the meeting.

The meeting was planned with the expectation that the apex court would announce the verdict next week. However, the Court chose to deliver its verdict at a special sitting of the court on Saturday.

Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad said it was remarkable the countrymen have ensured peace and tranquillity after the verdict.

“We discussed ways to formalise this arrangement so that dialogue can continue between the two communities and differences can be sorted through discussions,” he said.

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