The Muslim community across Gujarat will not celebrate Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, on Sunday in order to maintain peace in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya title dispute case. The decision to cancel the processions was taken on Saturday evening after the Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi Central Committee of Ahmedabad held a meeting with community leaders, MLAs and scholars.

“In view of the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya today, we have decided not to take out Eid-e-Milad procession on Sunday,” Habib Mev, the committee’s general secretary, told PTI. “Though police has given us permission, we feel a stray incident during the procession can vitiate the peaceful atmosphere. We want communal harmony to remain intact.”

These processions will not be held in cities such as Ahmedabad, Surat, Godhra and Bharuch, said Ahmedabad Congress MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh. It is the first time in three decades that the procession has been cancelled in Ahmedabad, according to Mev. Over 4 lakh Muslims take part in the procession in Ahmedabad.

“Looking at the current situation, a small mischief can create a law and order situation,” said Shaikh. “As per my knowledge, 99 per cent processions to be taken out tomorrow across the state have been called off for the sake of peace and communal harmony.”

The Eid-e-Milad committees had obtained permission from the police about 15 days ago, and preparations were under way. “Thousands and lakhs of people participate in the procession and if something goes wrong or some notorious elements create mischief, then it would damage the peaceful atmosphere,” Surat city Sirat-un-Nabi Committee President Siraj Saiyed told The Indian Express.

The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered the Centre to hand over the disputed Ayodhya site within three months to a trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple there. The top court also ruled that a separate five-acre plot be allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya for the construction of a new mosque as relief for the “unlawful destruction” of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

The 1,045-page judgement – a unanimous one – was given by a five-judge Constitution bench that heard the matter for 40 nearly-consecutive working days between August and October. The bench also observed that the demolition of the 16th-century Babri Masjid at the site by Hindutva activists in 1992 was a serious violation of the rule of law and “must be remedied”. The demolition had led to communal riots in many parts of the country.

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