A joint team of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested Faizal Khan, one of the four who were booked by the Uttar Pradesh police for reading Namaz (Islamic prayers) within the premises of Nandmahal temple in Nandgaon area in Mathura district’s Barsana on Saturday (October 29).
A complaint was filed after a photo of the duo, reciting Islamic prayers within a Hindu temple, went viral on social media. While a complaint was registered against Faisal Khan and Mohammed Chand for offering Namaz inside the temple premises, the other 2 were booked for recording the act and circulating the video on social media, as per the FIR. Faizal Khan is now being questioned by police, ACS Home Awanish K Awasthi was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
Faisal Khan (in pic), one of the four persons who offered Namaz inside Nanda Bhavan Temple complex, Mathura has been taken into custody by Uttar Pradesh Police. He is being questioned by police: ACS Home Awanish K Awasthi https://t.co/ngDXIGmNY1 pic.twitter.com/e4nhdnfmSD— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 2, 2020
Faizal Khan was nabbed near Jamia Gaffar Manzil on Monday. The other accused – Mohammad Chand – is yet to be arrested by the police. Chand and Khan have been booked under Sections 153-A, 295, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to reports, the Uttar Pradesh government suspects that the incident was an attempt to incite communal sentiments. Assuring strict action, BJP leader and member of UP Legislative Assembly Shrikant Sharma said: “There are some people who are trying to spoil the environment in Uttar Pradesh. They cannot digest the way we are operating. So, in some or other way, they are attempting to incite communal tension. The cocktail of Congress and BSP has always practised communal politics and not development. This government is not like that. If anyone tries to disturb the peace, strict action will be taken.”
Meanwhile, ABP News quoted Faizal Khan as saying that it was only “goodwill and no conspiracy was involved” in offering Namaz inside the temple premises.
UP police files case against four for reading Namaz inside temple premises in Mathura and recording and circulating the video of the act
On October 30, the duo had offered namaaz at the Nand Baba Mandir in Mathura. As per reports, the case was filed, following a complaint by the temple server Kanha Goswami against Faisal Khan and Mohammed Chand, who had reportedly done the ’84 kos’ yatra to reach the temple by bicycles. They were accompanied by two other ‘Gandhian activists’, namely, Nilesh Gupta and Alok Ratna.
In the morning, different media houses had different reports. While, News 18 reported that Hindu devotees had expressed displeasure at their actions and asked them to refrain from doing so, a Patrika report had stated that the temple priest himself had given permission to the duo to read Namaz.
Meanwhile, several Hindu rights groups and saints have objected to the incident and had sought strong action from the district administration. They have asked whether Masjids would similarly permit conducting Arti, Bhajan and Puja inside their premises.
PFI links of Faisal Khan and Mohammed Chand
Interestingly, the Facebook ID that posted the contentious picture initially is a vocal advocate of the four radical Islamists from People’s Front of India (PFI), who were apprehended on their way to Hathras. The case was taken up by Barsana police station before being transferred to the Intelligence Department. A probe has been initiated for determining the motives behind the act and making the picture viral on social media.