States & UTs

    Govt Funds Can't Be Used For Statues Of Religious Figures, Says Jilani

    April20/ 2022
    Last Updated:

    Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board on Wednesday voiced strong objection to the state government's proposed plan of installing a towering statue of Lord Ram on the Saryu bank in Ayodhya. The Sunni Central Waqf Board is one of the parties in the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. Speaking to UNI, Zafaryab Jilani, All-India Muslim Personal Law Board secretary and who is representing Sunni Central Waqf Board in the matter, said he was totally against the misuse of government funds on the proposed Ram statue project. Pointing out that the proposed project was not at all appropriate from constitutional point of view, Jilani hinted that while he was exploring possibilities of going to court over the issue, he would certainly register his opposition over the violation of constitution. While accusing the BJP of raking up controversies keeping in view the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Jilani suggested that government funds should not be used on religion-related matters or projects. He emphasised that the Supreme Court had made it clear after the 1992 Ayodhya dispute that government money should not be spent on religion-related projects. The popular lawyer pointed out that his intention was to put on record his constitutional objection to the matter and prevent BJP from reaping political gains. Jilani said the Board had no objection to improvement of infrastructure from tourism point of view by providing better roads and other services, including boosting air connectivity to the pilgrim centre. Reiterating that it was not the job of the government to install the statue of any religious figures of any faith, he suggested that the government could provide land and let Vishwa Hindu Parishad or any other organisation deal with the construction of the statue. When approached, Shia cleric and vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Kalbe Sadiq, declined to comment on the issue. Vishwa Hindu Parishad representative in Lucknow, Sharad Sharma, suggested that it would have been better if Jilani and his followers had helped in the statue project because the world knows Ayodhya is Ram's birthplace. UNI

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