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Prayers as usual

Barely a few hours after the shootout, over a hundred people turned up at the Khalilullah mosque in the Batla House colony in Jamia Nagar to offer special Friday prayers, reports Naziya Alvi.

delhi Updated: Sep 20, 2008 00:50 IST
Naziya Alvi

Barely a few hours after the shootout, over a hundred people turned up at the Khalilullah mosque in the Batla House colony in Jamia Nagar to offer special Friday prayers. The mosque is barely 50m from the spot where the Delhi Police shot dead two alleged terrorist of the Indian Mujahideen.

Hundred was, however, a lesser turnout than is usual for the month of Ramzaan, said Iqraar Ahmad, General Secretary of the mosque. “This is probably because of the initial rumour spread by the media that an encounter has taken place in the mosque itself. Heavy police deployment around the mosque must be adding to the confusion,” Ahmad said.

Policemen were present in strength around the mosque. “We were about to return without offering the prayers. We initially thought the area is cordoned off. Then we noticed a few devotees entering inside,” said Dr Hashmi, a devotee who lived in Zakir Nagar, an area adjacent to Batla House.

There were a few like Tausif Rehman who had come all the way from Maharani Bagh to offer prayer at this mosque to witness the aftermath of a shootout.

The namaz that started at its routine time of 2:45 pm lasted a few minutes longer with the mosque cleric making a special request to the residents to maintain clam. “I request you all to maintain peace and calm in the area,” said the cleric who refused to talk to the media.

His request had come in reaction to resentment amongst the youth of the area who could be seen shouting anti-police slogans. They raised questions about the authenticity of the encounter.