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Religious leaders should check flaring tempers: HC

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 18, 2011
First Published: 00:44 IST(18/1/2011) | Last Updated: 00:48 IST(18/1/2011)

The Delhi High Court on Monday took serious note of encroachment of the land reclaimed after demolishing an "illegal" mosque in Jangpura and told authorities and religious leaders that an Ayodhya-like situation cannot be allowed to happen in the capital.

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The judge said religious leaders allowing their followers to raise tempers were a "dangerous trend". But the court allowed 10 members of the Muslim community to offer namaz daily for two months till all sides sat together and solved the dispute.

Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which has been directed to construct a boundary wall at the reclaimed area, has been asked to leave two-and-a-half feet opening to facilitate passage of namazis.

In an apparent reference to post-Ayodhya in 1992, Justice GS Sistani said, "You and I recall what happened 20 years back. No body can be allowed to take law into their hands. Don't leaders of various religions owe a responsibility to society and courts? Can't they advise the followers?"

The court was addressing lawyers representing Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari and three Delhi MLAs who are facing contempt charges for "instigating persons to trespass" into DDA land after the agency razed the mosque. RWA's lawyer RK Saini told the court that all sides had brought "disrepute" to the honour of the court by allowing "wilful violation of the court orders".

"I will not allow violation of court orders and rule of law has to prevail," the judge said Rajeev Bansal, DDA's counsel, blamed the police for encroachment of the cordoned off land saying it didn't grant adequate protection.

Making it clear that he had very good knowledge of Jangpura, Justice Sistani said it was "wrong to say that there was communal divide in the area" and said  it was very secular zone. Government counsel Najmi Waziri assured that speedy efforts are being made for an amicable solution and tempers to cool down.


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