3 AIMIM leaders booked after police stop ‘outsiders’ from entering mosque

UP Police (Representational)

A case of rioting and assault on public servant was lodged against three AIMIM leaders in Pratapgarh district on Saturday following a clash with policemen who refused locals to offer Friday prayers at a mosque located on the Reserve Police Lines campus.

The row erupted on Friday noon when policemen stopped a group of people from entering the Police Lines. As people protested, Inspector Shailendra Singh, in-charge of Police Lines, told them that Pratapgarh SP Abhishek Singh had ordered to not allow outsiders to visit the religious places on the campus.

As some of the men tried to enter the campus, a scuffle ensued with the policemen. Later, a case was filed against three AIMIM office bearers —- district president Israr Ahmad, general secretary Zafrul Hasan and secretary Shujatullah — and other unidentified persons under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant), 353 (assault to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 447 (criminal trespass) and section 7 of the the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

“We have been offering prayers at the mosque since I started practising at the district court. I have been told by elders that the mosque has been always open to non-police people forever. At least 200 persons offer Friday prayers there every week. On Friday, all of a sudden, police put up barricades,” said Saeedul Haque (35), a lawyer who was present during the scuffle.

Additional SP (East), Surendra P Dwivedi, said, “The mosque in Police Lines is used only by family members of police personnel who live there. It is a secured area. Outsiders are not allowed there and to improve their political stature, some workers of AIMIM entered the mosque to create a communal issue.”