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Gesture of harmony: Muslims return cheque donated by Sikh Samaj

By S Raju
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2020 07:14 PM IST

MEERUT In a gesture of communal harmony, Muslims returned Rs four lakh cheque for the proposed land donated by the Sikh Samaj for the construction of a mosque to end the land dispute between the two communities in Saharanpur, which also led to a fierce riot six years ago and claimed lives of three persons.

The Muslim community also declared to offer ‘kar seva’ during the extension of the Gurudwara in Kutubsher area and in return, the Sikh Samaj will construct a building, preferably a ‘langar’, dispensary or something else in the name of the Muslim saint Baba Farid.

The Muslim community also declared to offer ‘kar seva’ during the construction of Gurudwara and in return, the Sikh Samaj will construct a building, preferably a langar, dispensary or something else in the name of the Muslim saint Baba Farid.

On Wednesday, both the communities had resolved the issue and agreed on constructing the mosque at another place. The Singh Sabha offered to bear the cost of the land and gave a cheque of Rs four lakh to the Muslim community.

Members of the Muslim community, led by former councilor Moharram Ali aka Pappu, Mohammad Ali, chairman of the Muslim Foundation, convened a joint press conference on Sunday along with Jasbeer Singh Bagga, head of Gurudwara Singh Sabha and Gurpreet Singh Bagga, state president of Shiromani Akali Dal. The Muslim community declared to return the cheque and the proposed land offered by the Singh Sabha for the construction of mosque.

Moharram Ali said: “After discussions with community members it was decided to return the cheque. The community will construct the mosque with its own money.”

He said Muslims will do ‘kar seva’ during the construction of gurudwara for strengthening harmony between the two communities.

“We want that the money returned to the Sikh community should be used in construction of the gurudwara,” he added.

Earlier, Mohammad Ali, chairman of the Muslim Foundation, criticized Moharram Ali over the compromise and accused him of striking a deal with the Sikh Samaj.

Mohammad Ali said earlier he was misled by some people, but now he was convinced and wanted to be a part of the joint press conference. He added: “It is a fair compromise between the two communities, which is good for the society.”

Appreciating the gesture of the Muslim community, Gurpreet Bagga said, “They (Muslims) have set an example of harmony in the society. Teachings of Baba Farid are included in ‘Gurbani’, therefore to honour their gesture, Gurudwara Singh Sabha will name the building in the name of Baba Farid.”

To recall, the Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Saharanpur had purchased a land adjacent Gurudwara in Kutubsher area. This land had a private mosque. When the Singh Sabha started construction for extending the gurudwara in July 2014, a group of Muslims objected and soon the clash turned into a riot between the two communities claiming lives of three and injuring 26 others.

The prime accused Moharram Ali was jailed along with his teenage son with 97 cases registered against him and four against his son. Members of both the communities also registered cases against each other.

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