The last Friday of Ramzan, passed under tense circumstances in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The tension, according to news reports, began after “a group of people reacted strongly to some questions raised by a section of media persons there regarding the Friday prayers.”
According to the Saharanpur police, additional forces were deployed in the communally sensitive town of UP. The Indian Express, quoted Senior Superintendent of Police (Saharanpur) Akash Tomar saying, “Adequate police and PAC personnel have been deployed in the affected region while patrolling has been intensified in the entire town as a precautionary measure. Trouble ensued when a group of people reacted strongly to some questions raised by a section of mediapersons there regarding the Friday prayers. We will seek an explanation from mediapersons after we identify them.”
District Magistrate Akhilesh Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Tomar and Imam of Jama Masjid Mohammad Arshad Gaura pacified the youths and reportedly eased the situation. According to SSP Tomar, police have identified the youths and “action will be taken against them.” He also said the administration “will serve a notice to some of the media channels for spreading misinformation.”
What led to the tension?
Police say there were some objectionable questions asked by media persons over “offering of namaz within the mosque”. Police claimed that the situation was brought under control quickly. According to Maulana Farid, the manager of Jama Masjid mosque in Saharanpur said they have urged people to maintain peace, reported IE. The Imam told the media that after the namaz was offered, some cameramen asked the youths certain questions, which angered them and they began shouting slogans.
Why is namaz being made an issue this year?
As mosques open across the country after two years of Covid-19 shut down, Eid 2022, is being eagerly looked forward to by Muslims. However, as the festival approached, communal forces have tried their best to create tention over various anti-Muslim ‘issues’. The tensions in some parts have been simmering over the last weekend of ramzan, in various ways.
In Srinagar, the district administration denied permission for Jumu’atul-Wida. According to the latest news reports, the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar has been requested to “schedule Eid prayers at 7 A.M in order to handle the situation efficiently” and to ensure public safety and security.
State governments across the country have put preventive measures in place ahead of Eid which is expected to be celebrated on Tuesday May 3. According to a report in News18, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Madhya Pradesh have already “imposed restrictions and appealed for caution ahead of the festival.”
Curfew in Khargone on Eid
According to news reports, a “24-hour curfew will be in force on Eid-al-Fitr and Akshaya Tritiya in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone”. Khargone’s Additional Collector Sumer Singh Mujalda told the media that “ there will be no relaxation in curfew on May 2 and May 3” and that even marriage functions will not be allowed in the city on Akshaya Tritiya.
No DJ Music in Pune mosques
According to the news reports, “Authorities of five mosques in Pune and some other senior Muslim community members here have decided to shun DJ music” during Eid celebration. Maulana Mohsin Raza, the Imam of the Bharatiya Anjuman Qadariya Mosque in Lohiya Nagar, told the media that a core committee of five mosques in the area “decided not to have DJ music during the Eid celebration.” He added that the money earmarked for this will be “used to provide aid to the needy and poor people in the area.”