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Damage-control mission brings Bukhari to city

DELHI JAMA Masjid Imam Ahmad Bukhari arrived here on Wednesday night to launch a damage-control exercise following the controversial formation of the People?s Democratic Front (PDF) headed by prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad. Talking to the Hindustan Times, Bukhari said he would meet all Muslim organisations to ensure unity among them so that a viable political front could be launched.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 01:16 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
None

DELHI JAMA Masjid Imam Ahmad Bukhari arrived here on Wednesday night to launch a damage-control exercise following the controversial formation of the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) headed by prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad.

Talking to the Hindustan Times, Bukhari said he would meet all Muslim organisations to ensure unity among them so that a viable political front could be launched.

Instead of looking back and commenting on the formation of the People’s Democratic Front, Bukhari said he would make efforts to bring all the groups on one platform.

However, PDF chairman Jawad said there was no question of going back on the issue. He said Bukhari was appointed patron of the front and the offer was still open.

Jawad said there was no question of discussing the chairmanship issue, which was also the bone of contention among the warring factions. Bukhari was scheduled to meet Jawad late tonight.

Jawad said the crisis was precipitated because Bukhari wanted to announce the formation of the front. But it was not possible, as he (Bukhari) could not reach Lucknow on May 15.

Though Bukhari had summoned a meeting of all organisations in Delhi on June 10 to take up the issue afresh, he had to rush to Lucknow on Wednesday night because of the pressure of other groups. National Loktantrik Party (NLP) president Dr Masood met Bukhari here.

Dr Masood, who had opposed the formation of the PDF in a hurry, said he was with Bukhari. While Bukhari was opposed to the presence of some organisations in the PDF, Jawad said all the constituents would continue in the outfit.

Meanwhile, Jawad on Wednesday announced that he would launch an agitation against the government over massive encroachment on Waqf properties in Lucknow. Jawad said Shia groups would court arrest outside the residence of the district magistrate every day.

Assailing the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, the People’s Democratic Front chief said liquor shops were being opened on Hussainabad Waqf properties, which would no longer be tolerated.

He said moves were also afoot to hand over the multi-million rupee Hussainabad Trust to the Tourism Department.

At present, the trust is under the district administration’s control. He also said the State Government’s plan to take over Shahnajaf land would be thwarted.

First Published: May 18, 2006 01:16 IST