Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh's remarks that the Muslim community felt cheated by the Ayodhya title suit verdict has evoked sharp reaction from the community leaders, who dubbed it as "unwise" to make politically motivated statements at this time.
"The atmosphere at the national level has been positive with religious leaders of both the communities, political leadership as well as the media. It would not be wise if politically motivated statements which could vitiate communal harmony are issued now," said Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahli, the Niab Imam of Idgah and member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
He told PTI that it was heartening that "no one has so far shown immaturity...not even the Sangh Parivar and there should be restraint from now on to ensure that nothing is done which could give strength to fundamentalist forces."
He said though there is disappointment among the community over the verdict, it is in the larger interest of the country and communal harmony that restraint should be exercised.
Echoing Firangimahli's views, Maulana Mohammad Umer of Islami research institute Darul Musinnfeen termed Yadav's statement "ill-timed".
"Though he is expressing the views held by the community, the timing is not correct," Maulana Umer said.
Maulana Mohammad Mirza Athar of Shia Personal Law Board said that it was unbecoming of a senior leader like Mulayam Singh Yadav to issue such a statement at a time when everyone is trying their best to ensure peace and harmony.
"In a court case, there is bound to be one side on the losing side and after this verdict by the High Court, the option of approaching the Supreme Court or making an effort to resolve the issue through mutual understanding is still open and in this backdrop such statements are unnecessary," he said.
Noted Shia leader and member of the AIMPLB, Hamidul Hasan refused to comment on Yadav's statement, but appeal to everyone to desist from issuing statements which could hurt unity and peace of the country. Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq of the All India Sunni Board asserted that none of the Muslim leaders have said anything adverse on the verdict.
"It is the time to ensure peace and communal harmony and an appeal in this regard was also made after the Firday prayers to not politicise the issue", Mohammad Mushtaq added. The SP chief had yesterday said he was disappointed by the Ayodhya title suits verdict as he felt faith was given "priority" over legal procedures.