The faction owing allegiance to Ghulam M Vastanvi, who was sacked as rector (mohatamim) at influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom on Sunday, is preparing to challenge his dismissal in court.
Vastanvi's supporters on Monday called the shoora's (supreme governing council's) verdict "unconstitutional, illegal and unfortunate".
Vastanvi was asked to leave after a panel probing his alleged praise of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi submitted a disputed report. The ostensible reason for the dismissal was that Vasatnvi did not "honour" his word that he would resign regardless of the panel's findings.
Vastanvi's supporters held a meeting on Sunday night to decide the course of action.
"We are consulting lawyers and collecting relevant documents required to file public interest litigation in court," said Mavi Ali, a supporter of Vastanvi and former state secretary of the Samajwadi Party.
"The shoora's decision was a sheer violation of fundamental rights as Vastanvi was not allowed even to submit his clarification on charges levelled against him," said Mavi.
Vastanvi, who has said he won't go to court on his dismissal, told HT he changed his mind on quitting on the grounds that the report of the probe panel, though favourable, was "partial" in the sense it did nothing to identify those who were behind violent protests against him in the seminary, which was one of the terms of the inquiry.
"I was removed though the inquiry report exonerated me. By God's grace, there was nothing to suggest I praised Modi," Vastanvi told HT.
A group of youngsters burnt the effigy of the shoora in Deoband and raised slogans against the decision. A visibly upset young Urdu journalist said, "Everything was pre-decided at the shoora."
However, a maulana supported the shoora decision saying: "Vastanvi was unsuitable for a religious institution like Darul Uloom."