ACTION PUNJAB NEWS Desk: Tensions escalated in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, as Muslim cleric Tauqeer Raza Khan was detained by police for his ‘jail bharo’ (fill the prison) call in response to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s remarks regarding the Gyanvapi mosque and Shahi Idgah mosque.
The situation in Bareilly remained volatile on Friday as thousands of followers of Ittehad-e-Millat Council chief Tauqeer Raza Khan took to the streets after his detention by police. Reports of stone pelting in the Shahmat Ganj area left one person injured, prompting police to launch an investigation and assure the filing of an FIR.
#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
Tauqeer Raza Khan’s call for a ‘jail bharo andolan’ came as a protest against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement urging Muslims to relinquish their claim on the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura. His supporters, numbering in the thousands, mobilized after Friday prayers, demonstrating their solidarity with the cleric.
To maintain law and order, approximately 1,000 police personnel were deployed throughout Bareilly, especially in crucial intersections, densely populated areas, and entry and exit points. Additionally, six Additional Superintendents of Police and 12 Circle Officers were tasked with overseeing the situation on the ground.
The tense atmosphere in Bareilly was compounded by its proximity to Uttarakhand, where communal clashes erupted in Haldwani the previous evening. Reacting to the Haldwani incident, Raza Khan expressed defiance towards the government, stating their readiness to confront any violence while criticizing the authorities’ actions against madrasas.
The situation in both Bareilly and neighbouring areas remains precarious, with authorities closely monitoring developments to prevent further escalation of communal tensions.
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WHAT YOGI ADITYANATH SAID IN UP ASSEMBLY
During his address to the UP Assembly on Wednesday, Yogi Adityanath mentioned the disputed Gyanvapi and Shahi Idgah mosques. Drawing a parallel to Lord Krishna from the ‘Mahabharat’, the Chief Minister remarked that while Krishna sought five villages, Hindu society only sought three centers.
“The installation of Lord Ram in the temple has brought joy to everyone in the country. This marks a historic moment where Lord Ram Lalla himself had to provide evidence of his existence. This journey underscores the value of perseverance… We are not only delighted that Lord Ram found his rightful place but also proud that we upheld our promises… mandir wahi banaya…We don’t just talk, we act,” stated the UP Chief Minister.
“This (the consecration of the Ram Temple) should have happened earlier. We understand that the issue was sub judice. However, steps could have been taken to widen the roads in Ayodhya and establish an airport. But why was there a mindset to hinder the development of Ayodhya, Kashi, and Mathura?” questioned Adityanath.
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(Inputs from agencies)