Controversy takes violent turn | india | Hindustan Times
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Controversy takes violent turn

india Updated: Oct 25, 2006 01:24 IST

THE ID moon controversy today took a violent turn in the well-entrenched Shia community here as some people stormed the historical Juma Masjid and chased away the namazis who had assembled there to offer Id prayers. Police had to intervene to control the situation as both sides came to blows on the mosque premises.

Those who disrupted the prayers said since prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad had not announced sighting of moon, they would not allow prayers in the mosque. For the first time in at least 45 years, Id prayers, which were to be led by Maulana Mohd Taqi, could not be held in the mosque. The disruption was the result of an on-going tussle between pro and anti-Jawad forces in the Shia community. Maulana Taqi, who is also vice president of All-India Shia Personal Law Board, belongs to a rival faction.

Taqi said the attackers were supporters of Maulana  Jawad. The maulana said he had got confirmation about sighting of moon from Allahabad, Jaunpur, Basti and some other places.

However, the Jawad group was opposed to it because Jawad’s uncle, vice chairman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Dr Kalbe Sadiq, had announced that Id would be celebrated on October 25. Jawad also did not lead the main Shia prayer at Asfi Mosque in Bara Imambara.  Maulana Taqi said nearly two-dozen youths entered the mosque and started abusing the people.

He said efforts were made to pacify them but they were unrelenting. The maulana said while the police rushed to the mosque to control the situation, he cancelled the namazis to maintain the sanctity of the mosque. Later, the people under Taqi’s leadership offered prayers at another mosque. Maulana Taqi also castigated Dr Kalbe Sadiq for applying scientific method in moon sighting.

The Shia community was sharply divided like their Sunni counterparts as they offered prayers at various mosques in the city. AISPLB member Maulana Yasoob Abbas said he had confirmation  Id on Tuesday. He said Dr Sadiq’s astronomical calculations were unacceptable.