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2002: Indian Muslim
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|ALL INDIA MUSLIM
VHP's Yatra was Designed for Political Mobilization in Name of Religion
AIMMM Supports EC's Decision to Save Gujarat from Another Round of Blood and
New Delhi, 14 November, 2002:
Shri Syed Shahabuddin, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), has issued the following Statement:
"The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) fully supports the decision of the Election Commission to ban the Yatra, planned by the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad during 15 November to 6 December, 2002 from Godhra to Ahmedabad and designed to mobilize electoral support for the BJP, as a
humanitarian move to save the people of Gujarat from yet another round of blood and fire and to enable them to vote freely and fearlessly during the
coming Assembly election.
Freedom of Religion guaranteed in Article 25 of the Constitution includes its practice and, therefore, the right to take out a procession if it is an
essential element of a religious rite, ritual or custom, ordained by scriptures or traditions e.g. on the occasion of religious festivals.
The VHP cannot create a 'Dharmic Yatra' in an adhoc manner out of the blue and claim protection for it under the Constitution. Nor can a political
demonstration be transformed into a religious procession only on the basis of the declaration of its sponsors or organizers. In any case, all
processions, including those religious and political, are subject to the laws and regulations on the maintenance of public order. If the situation
so demands, the State may prohibit even a religious procession, what to speak of a political yatra.
The AIMMM unreservedly condemns the opposition of the VHP to the decision as anti-national, unlawful and unconstitutional."
Sd/- Syed Shahabuddin
ALL INDIA MUSLIM
N-44, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone: 632
6780 Fax: 632 7346 Email:
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