One of the prominent Muslim clerics in the country who attended the Ayodhya Ram temple Pran Pratishtha ceremony, on Monday, said that a 'fatwa' has been issued against him for attending the event on January 22.
"I will not apologise"
Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, chief Imam of All India Imam Organization, while speaking to news agency ANI, said, "As a chief Imam, I received the invitation from Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra. I contemplated for two days and then decided to go to Ayodhya for harmony, for the country...The fatwa was issued yesterday but I had been receiving threat calls from the evening of January 22...I have recorded a few calls wherein the callers gave me life threats...Those who love me, love the nation - will support me. Those who hate me for attending the ceremony should perhaps go to Pakistan. I have given a message of love, I did not do any crime...I will not apologise or resign, they can do whatever they want..."
Pran Pratishtha ceremony led by PM Modi
The Ram Lalla idol was unveiled at the Pran Pratishtha ceremony after the hour-long rituals in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led the ceremony on January 22. The 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony of Lord Ram was held at 12.29 p.m. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the country's major spiritual and religious sects.
People from all walks of life, including representatives of various tribal communities, also attended the ceremony.
Around two lakh devotees thronged the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple for the darshan of Lord Ram Lalla, two days after the Pran Pratishtha ceremony concluded in the holy city of Ayodhya.
Rush of devotees and long queues in Ayodhya
Amid the rush of devotees and long queues in Ayodhya for a sighting (darshan) of Ram Lalla, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Union Cabinet during which he advised his top ministers to defer their visit to the grand temple.
According to government sources, Prime Minister Modi voiced concern over the heavy rush of devotees and the inconvenience caused to the public by VVIP and VIP visits to the temple town along with elaborate security details.
He proposed that Union ministers plan or defer their Ayodhya visits in March to ensure a smoother and more organised experience for everyone involved, sources said.
On Wednesday, the frenzy and fervour among the visiting devotees and locals were noticeable as they were on the prior when the temple was opened for darshan. The temple witnessed surging footfalls following the 'Pran Pratishtha' of Shri Ram Lalla and the grand opening on Monday.
Security was tightened in the holy city after the first day of darshan on Tuesday drew an estimated 5 lakh devotees.
(With inputs from agency)