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Shi’a-Sunni tussle contained in Mubarakpur
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

The simmering disharmony between Shias and Sunnis is fast coming to an end in Mubarakpur town of Azamgarh district, in eastern UP. The town, famous for its Banarsi sarees, is witnessing sectarian violence for the last three years. It took a shameful turn in the month of November when immediately after Maghrib prayers unscrupulous elements started hurling bombs indiscriminately killing more than 15 people on the spot and injuring a large number of innocents who were busy in shopping during the tragedy.

The immediate reaction among common Muslims all over the country was that saner elements of the community particularly clerics should rise to the occasion and should try their best to bring about a rapprochement between the warring factions. Maulana Asad Madani the President of Jamiatul Ulama-e Islam was first to respond and he formulated a delegation of clerics which includes Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad from the Shia side and important ulema of sunni side visited Mubarakpur though they could not reach the town due to curfew but met the injured in hospital and those in jail and gave a healing touch in the aftermath of the tragedy.(It may be noted that the Milli Gazette was the first paper to advise the departure of such a delegation in its editorial)

With the return of normalcy the efforts got further momentum and on 23rd January a tripartite meeting was held in a local guest house where representatives of Sunnis and Shias and administration gathered and discussed the Formula. Since noted Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad could not attend the meeting due to preoccupation no final decision could be taken except that the parties resolved to sort out all their differences in a peaceful and harmonious manner. Maulana Asad Madani, Maulana Mahmood Madani,Masood Ahmad (MLC and senior leader of Rashtriya Lok Dal) and other prominent leaders left Mubarakpur with the assurance to come back shortly. 

The next day on 24th January another meeting of local prominent people Haji Zaki, Haji Ali Imam Haji Md. Raza Alim Husain Rahat Husain, Anis Hasan Haider, Azam, Com. N. Hasan, Haji Zafar Masood etc was held in a local guest house to sort out their differences in accordance with the Qur’anic teachings. It was a wonderful scene which couldn't even be imagined just two or three days before. This was possible only due to the tireless efforts of Haji Saeedullah, a local bigwig who has always extended his helping hand towards all the needy. He got help from Haji Sarfaraz Ahmad, Proctor Jamia Ashrafia, Dr. Shamim Ahmad, physician in-charge Islamia Hospital, Haji Md. Ashhad, chairman, Millat Falahi Society, Haji Abdul Sattar Manager Millat Girls School,Dr. Qamarul Huda, Ammar Adibi, Moinuddin, Shamsuddin and Shabbir Comrade etc. to make this venture a success. 

Earlier, counter FIRs were registered in local police stations but with the new wind blowing in and around Mubarakpur it is expected that ‘Lucknow’ will be repeated very shortly in this Muslim dominated and prosperous town.

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