A day after Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav stated that no riot victims are left in relief camps, a section of Muslim religious leaders slammed him.
Shafi Madani, national secretary of Jamiat-e-Islami, who visited relief camps in Muzaffarnagar, decried Mulayam's statement.
"Mulayam is totally wrong in his statement. We have all the records that people from riot affected areas as Lisad, Phugana, Kutuba village who were affected by riots have not returned and are living in camps," Shafi Madani stated.
Babar Ashraf, the national secretary of All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), termed it as a strategic move by state government. "It is not only failure, but strategy of the government to divide people. Such statements show their mentality and strategy to alienate people from their roots," Ashraf stated.
Amid the criticism, Mulayam got support from Arshad Madani, president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. He said, "It is true that no victims of communal riots are left in relief camps. Now only those are living who are afraid and all others are living unnecessarily."
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid, however, sees his bete-noire and minister Azam Khan's hand. "Mulayam has given the statement on the basis of Azam's report. Till Azam is close to Mulayam, Muslims will continue to suffer. Mulayam should keep distance from Azam for the sake of Muslims," Bukhari said.
Zafaryab Jilani, executive committee member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said, "This issue had come up during the executive committee meeting of AIMPLB. Some Muslim leaders from the same region had stated that people are deliberately living in relief camps after being instigated by others. AIMPLB had resolved that efforts should be done by the community so that people return. Mulayam has courage so he said it candidly which has been informed to him by local Muslim leaders of riot hit area."
"The statement is politically motivated and he (Mulayam) wants to give this political colour. Those living in camps are scared which is why they did not want to return to their homes. They did not have anything to do with politics. Had this been the case, they would not have been forced to leave their home," general secretary All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Maulana Nizamuddin said. (wITH ENS Delhi)