Final decision on continuance on Feb 23: Deoband chief

Vadodara, Jan 27 (PTI) Maintaining that he has notresigned as head of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana GulamMohammad Vastanvi today said a final view on his continuancewill be taken by the governing council of the prominentIslamic seminary on February 23.

Vastanvi, who became the vice-chancellor early thismonth, had offered to resign in the face of protests fromstudents at the seminary after he reportedly said that Muslimsshould forget the communal riots of 2002 and move on and thatthe community did not face discrimination in Gujarat.

"I have not yet resigned. A meeting of theMajlis-e-Soora (governing council) will be held on February23, in which scholars from all over the country will come. Iwill present my case and they will decide on whether I shouldcontinue or not," Vastanvi told reporters here.

"I still continue to be vice-chancellor of the DarulUloom till February 23," he added.

However, he has maintained that he had only said thatdevelopment is happening in Gujarat and all communities be itHindus or Muslim were not discriminated as far as developmentwas concerned.

Vastanvi, who hails from Surat, also said that he hasnot given a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modifor the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

"My statements were either misunderstood or improperlyrepresented in Urdu media. My first interview published in thenewspaper clearly stated that I have not given a clean chit toModi," he said.

Vastanvi, who arrived here from Delhi en route toNandurbar, was accorded a warm welcome by Muslims who hadgathered in large numbers.

Earlier in Muzaffarnagar, UP, Vastanvi said, "Thepeople of Gujarat agree on the fact that development ishappening in the state and everyone whether a Hindu or aMuslim is there."

UP Samajwadi Party Secretary Maviya Ali has demandedthat the management committee should not accept Vastanvi''soffer to resign.

"It was most unfortunate that Vastanvi was not allowedto work in an institution which could have benefited from hisexperience," he said.

The developments have been termed as "unfortunate" bysome clerics, who expected Vastanvi to make positive changesin the 200-year-old institution.

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