A mosque in Bhuj made a midnight Azaan, the Islamic call for prayer, and announced that Muslims should come out of their homes and pick up weapons. A report by Sandesh states that the incident happened Bakali colony in Kokdi Road in Bhuj where a man from Sanjognagar made an unscheduled Azaan. The police have reportedly arrested him and further investigation is underway.
At the Masjid Imam-e-Rabbani at around 2:30 AM, one Mamad Abdullah Luhar allegedly entered the mosque and played an unscheduled Azaan on the speakers. Following the Azaan, in what seems like an intention to create communal discord, he made a provocative announcement. He reportedly announced, “I am the king of Kutch. Muslims should wake up and pick up weapons and come out of their homes.” Soon the police got into action and reached the spot. Further investigation is underway.
Ban on mass gatherings due to lockdown
It is notable here that mass gatherings and mass-prayers in Mosques, like all religious places have been banned in the country due to the ongoing lockdown amidst the coronavirus crisis.
In several states, local authorities are in constant touch with Mosque clerics and Imams to create awareness among the Muslim community over the pandemic. In such a situation, an unscheduled call inciting communal violence can be troublesome.
Previous instances of violence orchestrated from Mosques
Last month in Bengaluru, a group of ASHA workers and nurses were attacked by locals in the Sadiq layout area, a coronavirus hotspot. The health workers had alleged that locals had ganged up to attack and beat them when they went there for contact tracing and sample collection after coronavirus positive cases were discovered. They had alleged that the call to attack ground-level health workers had been given from the local Mosque.
On April 28, a police team was attacked by locals after Sehri near the Kasam Aala Mosque area in Gujarat’s Vadodara. When police personnel had tried to stop people from wandering about, they were allegedly slacked by a violent mob led by the main accused Nazir and his associates.
In another similar case, on 27 April, a large mob, including women, had gathered and attacked a police team in Aurangabad and injured policemen when they tried to implement lockdown rules and prevented a large gathering in a Mosque for prayers.
On April 2, a Muslim mob had surrounded the police and hurled stones at them in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh after the police asked them not to offer group namaz in a the Mosque in the Sarai Rahman area.