In a unique show of communal harmony, a large number of Muslims and Hindus have joined hands in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district to take out peace marches ahead of the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit verdict on Sep 24.
Under the banner of Sarvadharma Ekta Parishad, over 100 members from both the communities are carrying out peace marches in parts of the district.
"The main objective behind such marches is to give a social message of unity among the masses in view of the upcoming verdict in the Ayodhya case," Mufti Shamoom Qasmi told IANS on telephone from Bijnor, some 300 km from Lucknow.
"The peace marchers intend to ease the tension related to the judgment which in any case should not affect Hindu-Muslim relations. Taking this into account, we are carrying out the marches and appealing to members of both the communities to maintain peace after the verdict," he added.
People from all walks of life have come forward to join the parishad, which has already organised two peace marches this week in Binjor.
"Teachers, journalists, businessmen, college students, house wives, retired government officials and people from other fields joined the marches," said Naveen Kumar, a local journalist in Bijnor.
"Till now we have carried out peace marches at Shastri Chowk and Qasibaada area and would cover several other areas of the district in the coming days," he added.
Members of the parishad believe that the peace marches would go a long way in fostering Hindu-Muslim relations.
"We definitely feel privileged after getting associated with such a noble mission. If residents of other districts in Uttar Pradesh too carry out such an exercise, the bonding between the two communities will grow stronger," said Jai Narain Arun, a resident of Naangal area.