Uttar Pradesh police have canceled the case they had registered because of a “mass gathering to offer namaz” at a house “without prior authorization”, saying investigations have shown that no such thing has happened.
The first intelligence report (FIR) on August 24 was registered against 26 Muslims in Dulhepur village in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh. The police had cited “objections from neighbours” and booked the namazes under Section 505-2 of the Indian Penal Code (naughty statements made at a gathering where religious worship was held).
The village has no mosque and some residents have objected to gatherings for namaz, even in homes.
The case was followed by angry reactions on social media, alleging bias and lack of logic. “I’m sure if one of the neighbors had a hawan with 26 friends and relatives that would be perfectly acceptable. It’s not the ‘mass gathering’ that is the problem; it’s the offering of namaz,” tweeted Omar Abdullah, former Prime Minister. of Jammu and Kashmir.
Today, Moradabad Police released a video statement in Hindi saying that officers sent to the village found the complaint “unfounded”.
ग्राम दूल्हेपुर में वादी चन्द्रपाल आदि ने सामूहिक नमाज पढ़ने को लेकर PS छजलैट पर मुकदमा पंजीकृत कराया था,विवेचना उपरान्त घटना का प्रमाणित होना नहीं पाया गया।अतः विवेचना को मय जुर्म खारिजा रिपोर्ट समाप्त(एक्सपंज) किया गया है। सम्बन्ध में #SSP@moradabadpolice s#UPPolicepic.twitter.com/kqZKU1UEI6
— MORADABAD POLICE (@moradabadpolice) August 30, 2022
The FIR, registered on a complaint from local resident Chandra Pal Singh on Aug. 24, read: “By reading the namaz at a gathering, these people are spreading hatred and enmity among people. Sixteen of the people were named, while 10 others went unidentified. stayed., all reported to be locals.
Images of a group of people praying in the grounds of the house had gone viral.
People’s objections to the namaz have been in the news in several places in recent months.
There were protests several months ago by local residents, led by right-wing groups, in Gurgaon against namaz by factory workers from the region. The namaz was held in clearings designated by the local government, but that has also been ended. Hindu prayers were later held in some of the locations as a counterpoint.
More recently, namaz by some of the staff at a shopping center in Bhopal led Bajrang Dal men to protest by reading the Hanuman Chalisa. A similar incident at a shopping center in Lucknow happened a few weeks ago. Both malls later banned all religious activities.