Hyderabad: For the first time in many years, the Macca masjid will not be witnessing the Friday Youm-ul-Quran during the month Ramadan owing to the Model Code of Conduct.
The Majlis Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, Majlis Bachao Tehreek, and the Sunni Ulema Board have been holding public meetings at the Macca masjid after the Jumma Prayer. In practice, while the Majlis Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen usually conducts the Yaum-ul-Quran on the first and last Friday of every month, the Majlis Bachao Tehreek conducts its meetings on the second Friday and the Ulema Board on the third.
The Macca masjid superintendent Mr Mohammed Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui said, “Although four organisations had submitted their applications for permission to conduct the congregations this year, we shortlisted the Majlis Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, Majlis Bachao Tehreek, and the Sunni Ulema Board. Subsequently, we forwarded the shortlisted applications to the Minorities Welfare Department for necessary orders but have not received any communication so far. We are not authorised to allow anybody to conduct meetings in the mosque premises without permission from the department.”
Director of minorities welfare Shahnawaz Qasim said, “We generally issue orders before the onset of the holy month. However, the model code of conduct will continue to remain in force in the state owing to the Lok Sabha and local body elections. We, therefore, forwarded the file to a committee comprising the chief secretary, principal secretary (general administration department), principal secretary (finance), secretary, (minorities welfare), and other officers concerned who review matters related to the election code.”
He said the committee had rejected the petition as political parties happen to be in charge of organising the congregations, and that cannot be allowed while the model code of conduct is in force. “The department re-sent the file clarifying that the purpose of the public meetings was solely religious and requested them to reconsider our proposal. However, we yet to hear from them.”
We can only consider allowing parties to conduct the congregations after 23rd May," he said.
The Majlis Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen general secretary and MLA Mr Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri said, "We have not received any communication from the department and have therefore decided to conduct the congregation at the Jamia Masjid Chowk on the first Friday. We have been conducting the Yam-ul-Quran for the past 62 years, so I'm hoping that we're allowed to conduct the meeting on the last Friday."
Majlis Bachao Tehreek spokesperson Mr Amjadullah Khan Khalid said, "We submitted our application a month and a half in advance. However, the Minorities Welfare Department has failed to act promptly. They neither grant permission nor do they reject it." He contended that if the department had at least responded with a rejection notice, then they could approach the Chief Electoral Officer or the High Court in time for resolution.
Sunni Ulema Board president Mr Moulana Syed Hamid Hussain Shuttari said, "Our organization is a religious entity and we should not be rejected on grounds of the Model Code of Conduct. We demand that political parties not be allowed to conduct any programme in mosques henceforth. I hope we get permission to conduct the congregation on the second Friday."...