A man named Majkur Mamad Abdullah Luhar who was arrested by Bhuj Police earlier this month for allegedly entering a mosque in the midnight and making inflammatory remarks over the mic for Azaan has been sent to Lajpore jail in Surat under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities(PASA).
On 7th May 2020, the said person entered the Masjid Imam-e-Rabbani mosque at around 2:30 AM and played an unscheduled azaan at the ungodly hour on the speakers. He had made communally sensitive remarks on the mic, appealing Muslims to wake up and pick up arms. Luhar was later nabbed by the police for promoting enmity between religious groups and creating social discord.
According to Swarajya intern Harshil Mehta, an FIR was later filed against him under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A/B (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion), 188(disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 504(wilful provocation to break the public peace), 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) of the Indian Penal Act and Epidemic Disease Act.
A statement was released by the Kutch Local Crime Branch on May 14, 2020, to inform about the latest developments in the case. The press release said, “Despite the lockdown enforced amidst the coronavirus pandemic, one Majkur Mamad Abdullah Luhar entered the mosque and made unscheduled azaan on the microphone and tried to stir communal discord. He said, “I am the king of Kutch and Muslims should wake up and pick up weapons and come out of their homes.” The press release further said that Luhar had instigated people to come out and get infected and hence he has been booked under Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) and an arrest warrant was issued against him. The Crime Branch said that the accused has been sent to Lajpore jail in Surat.
Unscheduled Azaan at Bhuj Mosque asks Muslims to pick up weapons and come out of their homes, 1 arrested
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.