Srinagar, Aug 29: The problem was not with mass gathering but the offering of namaz, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said on Monday after FIR was lodged against 25 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad after they offered namaz at an open space.
According to a police official, the case has been registered under the Indian Penal Code section 505 (public mischief). Namaz was being offered at the open space in Dellepur village despite warning, he said.
However, one of the people named in the FIR said the land where namaz was offered was a private property.
In a tweet, Omar Abdullah said, “I’m sure if one of the neighbours 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.” Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), Rural, Sandeep Kumar Meena said, “The villagers continued to perform namaz in the open space despite a warning and being told to do it at their houses. So, we have registered a case against 25 people.” Wahid Saifi, who has been named in the FIR, said, “We are legal owners of that land where namaz was being offered frequently since Independence. But recently, some miscreants, claiming themselves to be Bajrang Dal activists, objected to it claiming it was a new practice. They complained to the police on June 3.” Police visited the spot and checked all papers and issued summons to be present in the SDM’s office, he said.
“We visited the SDM office on June 3 where Circle officer, Kanth Saloni Agrawal was also present. All legal papers were presented by us but she warned us not to perform namaz in open space and since then we were following the orders. But an FIR was lodged on August 24 in Chajlait Police Station after the transfer of the SHO,” Saifi said.
“We all were unaware about any case and we came to know about it from the media,” Saifi said.–(PTI)