No procession on Prophet's birth anniversary this year in Ayodhya: Muslim leaders

Lucknow PTI

Ayodhya, Nov 10 (PTI) The Bara Rabiul Awwal processions, traditionally taken out on Prophet Muhammad's birth anniversary Milad-un-Nabi, were cancelled in Ayodhya on Sunday, some local Muslim leaders said.

The decision was taken as a 'precaution' and also due to 'some sadness' among Muslims in the wake of the Supreme Court's Saturday verdict, negating the Muslims' claim over the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land.

The Ayodhya adminstration, however, maintained that processions were taken out, though they might have been scaled down.

The community leaders, who vouched for the cancellation of processions in Ayodhya on Sunday, included prominent Muslim cleric Mufti Shamsul Qamar Qadri, also the imam of Ayodhya's main mosque.

'This year, we have taken out no procession on the occasion of Bara Rabiul Awwal. There are two reasons behind this. The first one is to maintain peace (in the city). It was done as a precautionary measure,' Qadri, Faizabad's Qazi-e-Shahar, told PTI.

'Secondly, (it was) to express our sorrow after the Supreme Court judgement. In all, 50-55 processions used to be taken out in the city. No procession was taken out today. We celebrated Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi at our respective mosques,' added Qadri, also the designated Imam-o-Khatib of city's Jama Masjid Tatsah.

Maajid Ali Khan, an Ayodhya resident and district-level leader of Telangana-based political outfit All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), headed by Asaduddin Owaisi, too corroborated the Muslim cleric statement.

'Bara Rabiul Awwal procession, which was to be taken out on Sunday, stands cancelled. The reason is that due to barriers erected at various places in Ayodhya, people coming from outside cannot reach here,' said Khan.

'We also wanted that there should be no problem because of the procession. We cancelled it as a precautionary measure,' he said 'Secondly, there is some sadness among us after the judgement by the Supreme Court. The occasion is Jashn-e-Milad-un-Nabi. It is a joyous occasion, but we can neither celebrate it, nor feel happy. The judgement has come, but not the justice,' said Khan.

Khan said over 50 processions used to be taken out on the occasion of Jashn-e-Milad-un-Nabi in Ayodhya, but they have been cancelled.

Khan, however, vouched for complete communal amity in the holy town in the wake of the apex court verdict.

'The atmosphere, however, is absolutely fine here. There is no problem among Hindus and Muslims in Ayodhya,' he told PTI.

Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Jha, however, denied that the processions have been cancelled here.

When contacted, Jha told PTI, 'The processions have not been cancelled, but the scale of the processions might have been lowered by the organisers themselves. The processions have already been taken out.' 'We had told organisers to stick to the traditional route and the manner of celebrations. Whatever they are doing, they are doing at their own level,' Jha added.

Babloo Khan, a local Muslim leader, said, 'I have been following Quran in letter and spirit. If Kaba is sacred for Muslims, the Ram Janmabhoomi is equally sacred for the Hindus. This is the city of Lord Ram. We welcome the Supreme Court judgment, and each and every citizen should welcome it.' PTI NAV RAXRAX