The RSS-affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) has shifted the venue of a meeting scheduled for May 5 and 6 twenty kilometres away from Haridwar after objections were raised by two organisations of priests. According to a report by The Times of India, Brahman Sabha and Akhil Bharatiya Yuva Tirth Purohit Mahsabha cited a colonial-era provision, which doesn’t allow non-Hindus to carry out religious or social activities in the religious city, to object to the meeting.
The MRM’s meeting, which will now be held in Piran Kaliyar, is being convened to “build consensus among Muslims on the Ram temple and triple talaq issues”. The organisation had proposed to hold the meeting at the Nishkam Sewa Trust, which is located near the Har-ki-Pauri Ghat in Haridwar.
Sources told the paper that the two organisations of the priests cited a colonial-era provision in the Haridwar nagar palika bylaws to object to the meeting. “No religious or social activities by non-Hindus would be permitted within the town’s municipal limits,” the rule says.
According to the ToI report, leaders threatened opposition in case the meeting is held in Haridwar. Ujjwal Pandit, the president of the Purohit Mahsabha, also wrote a letter to the RSS prant pracharak informing him of the violation of the bylaw. The letter added that the meeting if convened in Haridwar, would be in violation of “the holy city’s religious tradition“.
Girish Juyal, the national organising secretary of MRM, told the paper that “the change in venue is being implemented.” He explained that two meetings of Muslim clerics are scheduled to discuss different issues. Earlier, Indresh Kumar, the national convener of MRM, was supposed to meet around 150 clerics in Haridwar to discuss cleaning the Ganga river and the Ram temple issue. The venue of this meeting has now been shifted to Piran Kaliyar as well, where the second meeting was proposed to be held to discuss future programmes.
“Now both the meetings will be held at Piran Kaliyar,” Juyal told the paper. He further commented that it is “unfortunate that attempts are being made by some people to deliberately create misunderstanding.”