Large-scale violence erupted in Old Lucknow as Shia Muslims resorted to arson and brick-batting following the arrest of two prominent Shia Ulama (clerics) Maulana Kalbe Jawad and Maulana Ali Nasir Sayeed Abaqati alias Agha Roohi. These clerics were protesting against holding of board of trustees meeting of Shia College along with their supporters outside the college premises. The college trust said that meeting was on the direction of the court.
As soon as the police arrested the two clerics, their supporters resorted to violence on Lucknow-Sitapur road and near historic Bara Imambara. They set afire UPSRTC bus and some private vehicles. Some unidentified persons also fired in air. The police had tough time in controlling violent mob, which went berserk in several parts of Old City including Muftiganj, Nakhas, Hussainabad and Patanullah, IT crossing.
Even though the two clerics were immediately released at police line they stayed there till the evening with their supporters to pressure the government for the acceptance of their demands about the functioning in the management of Shia college and probe into police atrocities on agitating supporters.
The divisional commissioner Prashant Trivedi said the administration would look into their demands. DIG DK Thakur told HT that the matter had been sorted out and the entire situation was now under control. He said the clerics had presented some demands to district administration and the matter would be investigated.
Kalbe Jawad accusing the administration of supporting the college management, said they were holding peaceful meeting outside the college when the police attacked and arrested the people. Jawad and Agha Roohi are members of the trust.
The tussle between the two groups of Shia clerics- Kalbe Jawad/Agha Roohi and Maulana Mirza Mohd Athar has long been going on over the control of the premier Shia educational institution in the state. Sunday's violence was result of simmering discontent in between the two groups in Shia community.
While Jawad-Agha Roohi group accused the management of large-scale financial irregularities, Maulana Athar group rejected the charges. Jawad said the police had been acting at the behest of the college management. He has warned to launch statewide stir against college management if the government failed to accept their demands of probe into irregularities. He said the police unnecessarily provoked his supporters who were holding peaceful demonstration. Since Athar group controls the college, Jawad accused Athar family destroying the Shia institution.
However Trust member Maulana Yasoob Abbas son of Maulana Athar said the two clerics tried to disrupt the annual trust meeting. He said the trust was under control of Raja Raza Ali Khan of Pindrawal (Aligarh) and others and his family had nothing to do with it. Yasoob said that board had unanimously expelled the two clerics from the membership of the trust.