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National

Muslim leaders meet President

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI APRIL 29. Prominent Muslim leaders today called on the President, K.R. Narayanan, and urged him to take steps to place Gujarat under President's rule and appoint a new Governor in the place of Sundar Singh Bhandari, with a view to ``restoring the confidence of the minority community and normality in the State.''

The delegation comprised Khurshid Alam Khan and S.H.M.Burney, former Governors, Syed Shahabuddin, president, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor, Hamdard University, Mohammed Hamid Ansari, former Ambassador, Syed Shahid Mehdi, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, Mohammed Yahya, Amir, Jamaat Ahl-e-Hadith, Syed Jalaluddin Umri, Naib Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Mohammd Salim Qasmi, vice president, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and Asrar-ul Haq Qasmi, assistant secretary general, All India Milli Council.

The leaders also urged Mr. Narayanan to exercise his authority under Article 78 of the Constitution and call for a status report on the situation in Gujarat, in order to ``examine the basic reasons for delay in restoration of normality (in the State)''.

Besides, they wanted the appointment of a new commission of inquiry with a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court and two High Court Judges ``with proper terms of reference'' to go into the riots, measures to expedite investigations and prosecution of the culprits with CBI assistance, and a mechanism for effective implementation of relief and rehabilitation package and the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Minorities.

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