More than 2,000 people were booked in three FIRs for offering namaz without permission on a road outside the Eidgah on Eid last week, police said on Thursday. The FIRs were registered separately at Bajaria, Babu Purwa, and Jajmau police stations on Wednesday. No arrests have been made so far.
A video of the people offering namaz on road was made by the police. “People offering namaz will be identified on the basis of video after which legal action will be taken against them,” said an officer requesting anonymity.
Angry with the police action, Mohammad Suleman, a member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, told the media that they were being targeted on the basis of religion.
He said that a few people did pray on the road outside the Eidgah because they were late and there was no space left inside the premises. One of the FIRs was lodged at the Bajaria Police Station against 1,000-1,500 unknown persons including some members of the Eidgah management committee at the complaint of Senior Sub Inspector (SSI) Omveer Singh.
Omveer Singh in his complaint said a large number of people got down to offer namaz on the road as soon as a call for it was made on Eid, violating Section 144.
About 300 people were booked by Jajmau Police, while the third FIR was made at Babu Purwa Police Station in which over 50 people were charged with offering prayers on a public road without permission.
The people were booked under IPC sections 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharging duties), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 283 (Danger in public way), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), and 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).
Another police officer said that guidelines on Eid prayers had been issued after a meeting with the peace committees and strict instructions were given that prayers should not be held on the street.