Religious leaders vow to help govt maintain peace
November 11 2019 12:20 AM
newspapers hanging
A woman walks past newspapers hanging at a stall with the headlines about Supreme Court’s verdict on Ayodhya, in Ahmedabad, yesterday.

IANS/New Delhi

In an overwhelming consensus at an interfaith meeting convened by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, participants acknowledged that the situation after the Ayodhya verdict may be exploited by “anti-national” forces both within the country and outside.
“Those attending the meeting were aware of the fact that certain anti-national and hostile elements, both within and outside the country, may attempt to exploit the situation to harm our national interest. The religious leaders pledged their unstinted support to the government in all measures it may take to maintain peace and order,” said a statement.
The statement was released after Doval held a meeting at his residence with religious leaders across faiths. In the wake of Supreme Court’s judgment in the Ayodhya case, eminent Hindu and Muslim religious leaders and intellectuals interacted with Doval.
Those present at the meeting reposed full faith in the rule of law and the constitution of India and extended their full co-operation to the government in ensuring peace and communal harmony and upholding the rule of law.
“The leaders resolved to honour the decision of the Supreme Court and appealed to all countrymen to abide by it, emphasising that national interest overrides all other considerations,” the statement said.
The religious leaders noted that millions of people of both communities displayed a great sense of responsibility, sensitivity and restraint in accepting the court verdict.
According to the statement, the leaders emphasised the need for continuous dialogue between various communities.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad meanwhile convened a special meeting of its central office bearers in to discuss the way forward.
VHP leader Alok Kumar expressed gratitude to all eminent personalities, historians, jurists and experts of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) whose untiring support led to the verdict in their favour.
Meanwhile, a day after the Congress welcomed the judgment, saying it was in support of construction of a temple, the party’s mouthpiece National Herald carried an article contrary to the party’s stand.
After Bharatiya Janata Party attacked the Congress over the issue, National Herald removed the controversial article from its website and deleted its link from social media as well.
The newspaper tweeted an apology: “We apologise if the article ‘Why devout Hindu’’hurt anyone or any group’s sentiments. The views expressed in the article are the author’s personal views and do not reflect those of National Herald.” 
The apology came after the Congress leadership showed displeasure. Sources say the party leadership was upset with the way National Herald uploaded its article on the website.
In what will go down in history as one of its most landmark verdicts, the Supreme Court on Saturday granted the ownership of the 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to the Hindus, paving the way for the construction of a temple, and ruled that the Muslims should get five acres of land at an alternative site in the city.
lThe seven-decade old dispute was in limbo for nine years since it first reached the Supreme Court.
On May 8, 2011, the top court stayed the Allahabad High Court order and started hearing the civil appeals filed by the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla seeking claim on the disputed land. But the case kept being deferred owing to multiple reasons.
When Ranjan Gogoi took charge as the Chief Justice of India, he prioritised putting an end to one of the longest-running land dispute cases in the country. In fact, while recently hearing a matter related to the abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Justice said that the court had no time to hear other matters on account of busy hearings schedule in the Ayodhya case.

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