Lulu Mall Namaz Case: Impoverished Parents of Arrested Young Men Await Their Return

The parents believe their sons were not trying to break any laws or hurt anyone's sentiments.

A notice regarding the ban on religious prayers put up inside the atrium of LuLu Mall, a day after controversy had broken out after a group of people allegedly offered namaz in the mall premises, in Lucknow, Friday, July 15, 2022. Photo: PTI/Nand Kumar

By Asad Rizvi / The Wrie

Lucknow: Madrasa teacher Mohammad Rizwan has been waiting for his son for two days now, sitting in a small office in his madrasa in the peri-urban Abrar Nagar area of Lucknow’s Khurramnagar locality. Rizwan’s son, Mohmmad Rehaan, and four of his friends are in judicial custody for allegedly offering namaz in the new Lulu Mall.

Abrar Nagar houses people from economically poor backgrounds – including Muslims of different sects and a few Hindus.

The police arrested Rehaan, Atif Khan, Mohammad Luqmaan and Mohammad Noman on July 19. According to Mansoor Ali, the father of Luqmaan and Nomaan, his sons went to the newly opened mall for a post-Eid celebration.

Rehaan’s father alleged that the police knocked on his door around 1:30 am on the intervening night of July 18 and 19. On opening the door, dozens of policemen allegedly barged into the house. Some of them were in plain clothes.

“They were intrigued about Rehaan, who was sleeping in his uncle’s house that night. On being asked why they wanted to know about Rehaan, the cops replied that he was wanted in a molestation case,” he said.

When Rehaan came from his uncle’s house, which is next door to his own house, the police took him into custody. “The police team had made a false promise to me that they would release him in the morning from the local police station,” Rizwan said.

The police also raided the houses of Luqmaan and Atif the same night.

“We went to the local Khurramnagar police station in the morning of July 19 to pick up our children. At the local police station, we came to know that our children had been shifted to the Golf City police station,” Rizwan told The Wire.

“I came to know from the media in the afternoon that my son and his friends were arrested for offering namaz in the mall. Earlier, the police had not revealed any accurate information about the arrest,” he alleged.

He claimed that his son, Rehaan, has no criminal record. According to Rizwan, he knew all the four accused as he taught them in the Madarsa Muavia Lil Banat, which he runs. “All four are friends as well as neighbours, and they never indulged in any criminal activity,” he said.

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

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