Hindutva mob stops Muslims from offering namaz in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani, attacks Imam (Scroll)

Since the beginning of Ramzan last month, this is the fourth reported incident of namaz being stopped.


A Hindutva mob on Monday stopped Muslims in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani from offering namaz and attacked an Imam.

The disruption took place around 8.30 pm in Sarna Kothi, an area dominated by Hindus.

Zafar Siddique, a lawyer, told Scroll that around 50 to 60 men from Hindutva organisation Bajrang Dal disrupted Taraweeh – special Ramzan prayers held at night during which long portions of the Quran are read by the congregation.

Siddique, who owns the building where the prayers were being held, said that the mob slapped the Imam and assaulted another worshipper, who suffered injuries. “They tried to attack me as well but someone told them that I am a lawyer and then they backed off,” he said.

He claimed that police officials were present during the attack and accused the administration of supporting the mob, which was led by local Hindutva leader Mukesh Bhat.

Nanital Senior Superintendent of Police Pankaj Bhatt told Scroll that a case has been filed against those who opposed the prayers under Indian Penal Code Sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) based on a complaint from Muslims.

“We have done medical [medico-legal formalities] of the injured and preserved the CCTV footage and further action will be taken accordingly,” Bhatt said.

A Haldwani resident said that after the news of the attack spread in the city, a crowd of Muslims gathered outside the police station and held a demonstration.

A day before the ruckus, the local police had called Siddique on the phone and said that the authorities had received complaints about the prayers. He was asked to meet the superintendent of police.

Subsequently, the city magistrate sealed three rooms of the building owned by Siddique, alleging that the structure is built on “nazul land”, Bhatt said.

Nazul land is a type of property whose ownership has reverted to the state (in instances such as an owner dying without any legal heirs), which it can then lease out…

This story was originally published in scroll.in. Read the full story here

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