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Uttar Pradesh police arrests cleric for inviting Muslims to attend Namaz at Mosque amidst Coronavirus lockdown

Bhagpat in Uttar Pradesh reported its first case of coronavirus on March 26. A 32-year-old Bhagpat man who returned from Dubai recently tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.

To battle the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, the central, as well as the state governments, have time and again reiterated the importance of social distancing and urged people to stay confined to their houses. While the Government is imposing stringent restrictions to ensure that the spread is contained, several people throughout the country have been purposely violating the lockdown risking theirs and other people’s life. Uttar Pradesh police have arrested a Muslim cleric in Bhagpat area for urging people to gather to offer Friday Namaz at the mosque amidst Coronavirus lockdown. He allegedly used the microphone to invite all the members of his community to join him for the mass prayer (Namaz) at the Mosque. Following the announcement, few alert locals informed the police who then reached the Mosque and arrested the cleric.

According to Kotwali in-charge Arvind Kumar, a case has been registered against the arrested Maulana under IPC sections 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life).

Snapshot of the report published by the Hindi daily Dainik Jagran

Bhagpat in Uttar Pradesh reported its first case of coronavirus on March 26. A 32-year-old Bhagpat man who returned from Dubai recently tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. The patient in question had travelled via public transport after deboarding the flight at the Delhi airport, confirmed the doctor currently treating him.

Read: Almost half of India’s imported cases of the Wuhan Coronavirus linked to the ​Middle East, data shows

Uttar Pradesh police have also arrested two teachers, Imran and Madan, from the madrasa located in Muradnagar area in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Deliberately defying the nationwide lockdown orders the teachers had locked up 20 students inside the Madarasa and continued with the classes.

An Imam was arrested in Bulandshahr while cases were registered against about two hundred others for violating the lockdown orders. According to reports from Bulandshahr, a case was registered against 22 people, including two imams, for offering prayers in mosques despite the nation-wide lockdown in Jahangirabad and Dibai areas of Bulandshahr district, police said on Friday.

Santosh Kumar, the Senior Superintendent of Police in Bulandshahr, said that ignoring repeated warnings, around two dozen people were offering namaz at a mosque in Mohalla Kayastha Bara of Jahangirabad. On receiving information, when police station in-charge reached the spot, the people fled. Meanwhile, Imam Nazir Ahmed, who was offering prayers, was arrested and a case was registered against 21 people. 

In a similar incident, several people were offering prayers at a mosque in Kaser Kala village in Dibai area of the district. When the police reached the spot, the people fled. Police were bringing the imam Amir Hamza, after arresting him but due to strong resistance from people, the cops let him off to avert any untoward incident. However, the police registered a case in the matter.

In another incident reported from Hardoi, as many as 150 people were booked for offering prayers collectively in a mosque despite the lockdown in the district, police said on Friday.   

In yet another shocking act of deliberate violation of lockdown, a Muslim mob on March 26, not only assembled at a local mosque in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh but also attacked the policemen for asking to avoid mass prayers (namaz) in the view of nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the report, the Muslim had assembled at a local mosque in Bhogaon, Mainpuri on Wednesday to offer namaz at a time when Uttar Pradesh government has issued orders that no religious places will be kept open for prayers during the lockdown. The local administration had also appealed the Muslims to not assemble at the mosque.

Read: 8-month old among 2 new Coronavirus positive cases in Kashmir, both grandchildren of Saudi returned preacher who died recently

However, the Muslims had defied the rules to assemble at the mosque. On receiving information that people had gathered at the mosque located in Mohalla Mohammad Saeed town of Bhogaon, Inspector Pahup Singh reached the mosque with fellow policemen. When asked to open the door of the mosque, the mob became angry and refused to open the doors of the mosque. Thereafter, the Muslim mob unleashed themselves on the policemen as they attempted to disperse the mob. The police had to call for reinforcements to control the mob. However, Muslims have denied any attack and claimed that they are offering Namaz at home. 

As the menace of coronavirus prompted several states across the country, including Uttar Pradesh, to impose blanket restrictions against the movement and congregation of people to blunt the spread of the virus, Muslim mobs have repeatedly descended on the streets to offer namaz.

Just two days back, in a similar incident, a Muslim mob in Meerut created a ruckus over being stopped from offering namaz in the mosques by the city police. Scores of Muslims had hit the streets at around 5:30 PM on Sunday in Meerut following the 5-minute celebration of gratitude expressed towards the frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.

Defying the rules, they had assembled at different mosques in the town- Sisiganj, Safety Tank, Rajbandh Market, Kotwali, Lisadi Gate and Nauchandin, to offer the evening prayers. Despite repeated attempts by the police to dissuade Muslims from marching towards the mosques, many Muslims ignored police’s appeals and instead created a ruckus after police tried to impede them from assembling at mosques in the view of the surging coronavirus cases in the country.

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