Lucknow, Jan 26 (Agencies): A section of Muslim clerics has now come forward in support of Darul Uloom Deoband’s newly-elected chief who put in papers after protests over his remarks on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi, who hails from Surat in Gujarat and was elected VC on January 10, has been facing protests from students at the seminary after he had said that Muslims should forget the communal pogrom of 2002 and move on and that the community did not face discrimination in Modi's state.

Vastanvi felt the situation in the seminary was not conducive for him to continue as the vice-chancellor and decided to step down next month.

"It is most unfortunate that he was not allowed to work in the institution, which could have benefited with his resources and experience," the seminary's deputy head Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi told news agencies over phone.

"The statement for which Vastanvi is being attacked was not in praise of Modi but on the progress of Gujarat which is also being cited in newspapers and whatever he had said was
not in the capacity as the head of the seminary but as the resident of Gujarat," he said.

Madrasi hinted that there is a faction in the seminary which did not want Vastanvi to continue.

Another member of Deoband's managing body, Maulana Abdul Qasim was of the view that the manner in which protests were held against Vastanvi was wrong.

"Had there been any problems with his working or his views, they should have been put before the meeting of Majlis-e-shoora," Qasim said, adding that though the decision to quit from the post is his personal one, it has "piqued serious minded people".

Qasim said, "He ought to have been given time to function and he should have been judged on it," adding Vastanvi was elected to the important post for bringing a positive and progressive change in the institution.