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Shia cleric's men declare war on UP govt.

THOUSANDS of followers of Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad on Sunday declared to wage a war against the Akhilesh Yadav- led UP government if they further delayed action against Waseem Rizvi, chairman of Shia Central Waqf Board.

Jawad is demanding his removal from the post and wants the state government to stop using over a dozen of Shia monuments as tourist spots and declare them exclusively religious sites for the purpose of namaz and other related activities.

The followers, who assembled at the gate of Bara Imambara, declared that they would organise a jail bharo andolan from Monday if the state government didn't come out with a decision within 24 hours.

Earlier Jawad had declared that he, along with his followers, would court arrest on Sunday.

" We know that the situation can worsen once we decide to take our protest to the streets of Lucknow. This is why we are giving a final ultimatum to the state government to set free Shia monuments from its clutches and remove Rizvi, a stooge of a minister," Jawad said.

However, Rizvi said: " As a member of the trust in past, Jawad has minted money and sold off its properties. A probe is on against him. He knows that he would be booked soon for his crime. This is why he is mounting pressure on the government to suppress the ongoing probe against him." Jawad's followers are on a hunger strike for the last 17 days at Chhota Imamabara and have locked the gates of Bara Imambara. The two monuments are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India ( ASI) and managed by Hussainabad Allied Trust ( HAT).

The Bara Imambara was built by Asaf- ud- Daula, the Nawab of Lucknow between 1784 and 1791. The Chhota Imambara was built by Mohammad Ali Shah, third Nawab of Lucknow in 1838.

The HAT was formed by Mohammad Ali Shah in 1839 to look after all the buildings constructed by former Nawabs.

Demand action on Shia Central Waqf chief

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jun 15, 2015
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