After Islamists ran riots in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani district over the demolition of an illegally constructed structure which they labelled as a madarsa, tensions gripped the Bareilly district in Uttar Pradesh. Thousands of followers of Ittehad-e-Millat Council chief Tauqeer Raza Khan took to the streets and pelted stones after the Islamic cleric was detained by the police for giving a ‘jail bharo’ call over Gyanvapi case.
According to reports, one person was injured in the stone pelting that took place in the Shahmat Ganj area in Bareilly.
The incident happened after the IMC chief on Thursday, gave a ‘jail bharo andolan’ (fill the prison) call, a form of civil disobedience and incited his supporters to take to the streets to launch a fight over the disputed structure at Gyanvapi.
The Bareilly police as a preventive measure detained Maulana Taufeeq Raza Khan for giving a ‘jail bharo’ call over the Gyanvapi matter. The police, however, released the cleric immediately after which he returned to his house.
#WATCH | Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh | Chief of Ittehad-e-Millat Council, Bareilly Sharif, Maulana Tauqeer Raza detained by Police. He had given a call for 'Jail Bharo' over Gyanvapi matter. pic.twitter.com/pLunB4wltv
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) February 9, 2024
However, as per his call, after the Friday Namaz, thousands of Taufeeq Raza Khan’s supporters reached Islamia Ground where the cleric had asked his supporters to gather. The cleric’s followers distributed pamphlets and shared posts on social media that read, “The Babri mosque was snatched from us using the court’s decision and now they have started offering prayers in Gyanvapi mosque. Our 700-year-old mosque was razed during midnight hours.”
The police personnel took almost two hours to persuade Taufeeq’s supporters to return to their respective homes.
While returning, some of his supporters beat up two youths, identified as Kamal Sharma and Sameer Sagar in front of Maulana Azad Inter College. After the youths were beaten up and their bikes were broken, some of Khan’s supporters resorted to stone pelting in the Shyamganj market area.
Following the incident, the Bareilly police released a statement informing that Khan had gave a ‘jail bharo andolan’ call and asked his supporters to gather after the Friday Namaz. The police said that the program was completed peacefully. However, some notorious elements thrashed three youths in the Shyam Ganj market under Baradari police station limits and two of them suffered minor injuries. The police assured that they are investigating the matter and action will be taken against the accused.
मौलाना तौकीर रजा द्वारा जुमे की नमाज के बाद अपनी गिरफ्तारी का ऐलान किया गया था, कार्यक्रम शांतिपूर्वक सम्पन्न हो गया है। थाना बारादरी क्षेत्र श्यामतगंज के पास कुछ अराजक तत्वों द्वारा तीन लड़कों से मारपीट की गयी, जिसमें दो लड़कों को मामूली चोट आने व पुलिस कार्यवाही के सम्बन्ध में। pic.twitter.com/8qBtxWZ81D
— Bareilly Police (@bareillypolice) February 9, 2024
Bareilly senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ghule Sushil Chandra Bhan also confirmed that stray incidents of stone pelting and sloganeering were reported at the Shyam Ganj market under Baradari police station limits of the city. He added notorious elements thrashed three youngsters near Sailani locality in the same area, and two of them suffered minor injuries. He said the situation had been brought under control even as flag march was taken out in sensitive areas to instill a sense of security among the locals.
He added some anti-social elements were trying to disturb the peace and communal harmony in Bareilly. “We are also keeping watch on social media and people are suggested to refrain from posting anything objectionable on the issue,” he noted.
It may be noted that on Thursday, responding to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement in the Assembly on Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura, the Ittehad-e-Millat Council chief had instigated his supporters to take to the streets.
This was, however, not the first time that Khan had tried to instigate Muslims over the Gyanvapi issue. He has, in fact, been making such provocative statements for quite some time now.
Notably, in December last year, he declared his intention to launch a fight on the streets over the disputed structure at Gyanvapi. On the Mathura and Kashi issue, he said that Muslims are not ready to lose any mosque now, no matter how many surveys someone conducts. He also described the Supreme Court’s decision on Ram Mandir as dishonest.
Tauqeer Raza is known for his incendiary remarks
Earlier in the day OpIndia reported how Taufeeq Khan, while speaking after the Haldawni violence, where a frenzied Muslim mob attacked police personnel and civil authorities who went to demolish a madarsa built on illegally encroached govt land near the Banbhulpura police station, threatened the administration with violence.
Irked by the bulldozer action on the illegally constructed structure in Haldwani, which some labelled as a madarsa while others called it a namaz place, he threatened both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami with violence. Tauqeer declared that the Muslim community won’t tolerate any further bulldozer action. He continued by saying that they would kill anyone who attempted to harm them since it was their constitutional right to do so.
Similarly, on 3rd February, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan threatened a civil war in the country. He made the remark after the central government announced that it would award Bharat Ratna to veteran politician Lal Krishna Advani.