Saying that Muslims may find it difficult to get permission to conduct a gathering, Haroon Mozawalla, member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, appealed for communal harmony. Excerpts from an interview:
How will the Azad Maidan violence impact the Muslim community?
The incident has marred the community’s image and any organisation will now find it difficult to get permission to conduct a programme or gathering. We condemn the incident and appeal to everyone to maintain communal harmony.
Do you think the violence was planned?
Only the organisers can explain what instigated the violence. I think some people had planned the attack since I heard that some protesters came with kerosene and stones, but I am not sure if the organisers were aware of it.
What is your message to the protesters?
It is our appeal to all those who were part of the violence to surrender themselves to the police and serve the punishment. If they do not come forward, they will face a bigger punishment from Allah, particularly since this is the holy month of Ramzan.