Uphold 1991 law to protect Gyanvapi mosque, says Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Saturday asked the central government to uphold the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 to protect Gyanvapi and other mosques in the country.
Addressing a press briefing at its headquarters here, JIH Vice-President Prof Mohammed Salim Engineer voiced concern over the recent developments related to the targeting of Muslim places of worship in the country. He said that the courts should not have entertained petitions pertaining to demands for survey of Gyanvapi and other mosques when the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 prohibits altering the character of religious places.
He asked the central government to uphold the 1991 law in the interest of justice and peace.
JIH vice-president said that on the occasion of Ram Navami, various processions were deliberately carried out in communally sensitive areas and attempts were made to hoist saffron flags on the minarets of mosques.
“All this was done with the police and local administration looking the other way”, he added.
Strongly condemning the targeted killing of minorities and outsiders in Jammu and Kashmir, the JIH vice-president demanded a thorough investigation to bring the real culprits and conspirators to book.
JIH secretary for Community Affairs and Public Relations Mohammad Ahmed appealed to the Union Home Ministry to urgently come out with a statement and uphold the Places of Worship Act 1991 which states that a mosque, temple, church, or any place of public worship in existence on August 15, 1947, will retain the same religious character that it had on that day – irrespective of its history – and cannot be changed by the courts or the government.

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