The Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid and more than a hundred of his supporters were detained for four hours at the Daryaganj Police Station on Saturday morning, police said.
Police said Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari and motorcade composed of 25 to 30 vehicles, which was en route the Constitution Club to protest against a three-day seminar organised by proponents of the Ahmadiya sect, was intercepted at Delhi Gate around 12 pm.
“The step was in line with ensuring that the law and order situation did not get out of hand after the Imam and his followers reached the venue.
They were detained under Section 65 of the Delhi Police (DP) Act and later released at 3:30 pm,” said a senior police officer.
According to the Imam, his visit was meant to ensure that the said exhibition, which also featured copies of the Holy Quran containing modifications introduced by the sect as early as 1901, be cancelled on religious grounds.
“I had formally requested the state government to cancel the said exhibition because it is against the prevailing and true tenets of Islam – failing which I would go to the Club to ensure that it was called-off,” Maulana Bukhari told Hindustan Times.
He added that the works on display at the exhibition were ‘more desecrating than the Danish cartoon lampooning Prophet Muhammad’.
Police released the Imam and his supporters from the Daryaganj Police Station at 3:30 pm but the former refused to leave the premises till the authorities concerned called-off the seminar and communicated it to them at 3:45 pm.