Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reached out to the Dawoodi Bohra community in Madhya Pradesh by addressing a gathering and meeting with the community's religious head Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin at the Saifee Nagar mosque in Indore.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accompanied the prime minister.
Modi lauded the community's leaders for emphasising the importance of peace and togetherness. He said that previously, the imams or religious heads had "raised their voices against oppression and pride", and that these lessons are "important for the world today".
"I have faith that Syedna and the Bohra community is working together for the mission to maintain peace and unity in our country," Modi said. He greeted the people with "Ashara Mubaraka", and thanked the people for letting him address the meeting.
Modi's outreach to the sect of the Muslim community comes at a critical time for the BJP, as Madhya Pradesh gears up for Assembly elections. Chouhan also spoke to the community and praised Modi for "working tirelessly" for the people of the country.
The Dawoodi Bohras are a sect within Shia Islam. Thousands of community members arrived in Indore from various parts of the world to hear Saifuddin's sermons. Around 2.5 lakh Dawoodi Bohras are estimated to live in the state, mainly in Indore, Ujjain and Burhanpur districts.
In view of the prime minister's visit, security was ramped up, Indore range Deputy Inspector General of Police HC Mishra said. About 3,500 policemen have been deployed in the city, Mishra added.
This is the first meeting between the prime minister and Syedna, who is the 53rd religious head of the community.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Sep 14, 2018 12:55:20 IST