More than 10 lakh Muslims had gathered in Bulandshahr despite the permission was given to only 2 lakh, ahead of the Tablighi Ijtema event ended a day before the violence that took place, reported ANI.
Ijtema is a congregation of Muslims which is an essential part of Tablighi Jamaat. Often referred to as a show of strength of the Muslims, the 3-day event is all about moral reform of individuals and often described as ‘making Muslims true Muslims’. Lakhs of Muslims from across the country and world had gathered in Bulandshahr.
According to the reports, Anuj Kumar Jha, District Magistrate (DM), Bulandshahr speaking to the media said they had issued multiple notices and warning to the organisers of the event after there was a surge in the crowd. The 3-day event was scheduled for 1st, 2nd and 3rd December.
A notice was first issued on December 1 itself, but the crowd kept increasing on the second day too, following which a second notice was issued, said the DM. He added that the permit for gathering had mentioned a gathering of 2 lakh people, but the overall number of people attending the event was 10 lakh.
Prashant Kumar, Additional director general (Meerut zone) said to the media, “If something had gone wrong, riots of unprecedented scale would have occurred.” Anand Kumar said the number could be close to 15 lakh, while organisers said that the official claims are exaggerated and the numbers could be in the range of 3-4 lakh.
Rafeeq Ahmad, convenor of Tablighi Ijtema confirmed that the numbers of visitors had gone up and also rejected official sources regarding the number of visitors. It was a religious event of a scale that occurs once in 40 years, how can we send back the devotees, he said. “We have not given any reply to the notices because everything passed off peacefully. If they still want it, we will provide them the replies,” he further added.
On December 3rd, violence broke out in Bulandshahr after carcasses of cows were found in a field in Mahav village near Chingravati, Bulandshahr. The protest turned violent over police inaction after repeated complaints of illegal cattle slaughter. In the violence, a 17-year-old boy Sumit was accidentally killed Inspector Subodh Singh, who was also later killed in the mob violence.