Tarpaulin Turbans for Mosques: A Colorful Controversy in UP

Tarpaulin Turbans for Mosques: A Colorful Controversy in UP

Lucknow: For the last 6-7 years, it has become new normal for the mosques in UP to be covered with tarpaulin sheets ahead of Holi festival. This, according to authorities, helps to maintain law and order situation and avert any attempt by miscreants to incite communal tension by throwing colours on the places of Islamic faith.

Since the Yogi Adithyanath government came to power, this practise has been in place.

Like previous years, this year also, the mosques on the Ram Baraat route in Bareilly and the Laat Saheb procession path in Shahjahanpur have been covered with tarpaulin and plastic sheets to prevent any untoward incident, said the authorities.

According to Bareilly Senior Superintendent of Police Ghule Sushil Chandrabhan, he led a police flag march along the proposed route of the Ram Baraat from Narsingh Temple on Sunday. The administrations in districts are on high alert as the holy month of Ramzaan is also underway.

The district administration is taking extra precautions on the Ram Baraat Yatra taken out by Brahmpuri Ramlila Committee in Bareilly every year amid heavy police cover. As a result, all mosques on the route have been covered with tarpaulin.

The Bareilly SSP said that every effort was being made to maintain communal harmony during the festival of colours. The police administration is in constant touch with the religious leaders of both the communities.

“The clerics were contacted in the district on Friday and they have been told that the mosques will be properly covered in order to avoid any mischief to disturb communal harmony. The clerics expressed satisfaction over the arrangements,” said the SSP adding that a police contingent would accompany the yatra which, after passing through many areas in the city, will return to the Narsingh Temple.

In Aligarh, Abdul Karim Masjid will be covered to save it from the Holi colours. Other mosques in communally sensitive areas of the district are also covered ahead of Holi.

As per Haji Iqbal, the chief cleric of the Abdul Karim mosque, the religious site is being covered following the instructions of the district administration.

In all, four mosques in sensitive areas of Aligarh have been covered with tarpaulin sheets by the Masjid Intezamia Committee on Saturday.

Similarly, in Shahjahanpur, a Laat Saheb ki Baraat is an annual affair and is taken out on Holi from the Phoolmati Devi Temple since the 18th century. During the Baraat, revellers throw footwear at the procession moving with a buffalo cart and a hapless man. Earlier, the procession was called the Nawab Saab ki Baraat and the person sitting on the cart was depicted as a Nawab, but since Independence, it is known as Laat Saheb ki Baraat in which the person on the cart is portrayed as a Britisher.

Mosques located along the procession route remain covered with plastic sheets and the law and order machinery in Shahjahanpur is on high alert to avert any untoward incident.

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