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Haryana violence: Mosque in Gurugram Sec 57 vandalised, junior imam killed, 3 hurt

Aug 02, 2023 02:03 AM IST

One person died and at least three were injured after a mob attacked and set fire to a mosque in Gurugram.

One person died and at least three were injured, one critically, after a mob vandalised a mosque in Gurugram’s Sector 57 shortly after midnight on Monday, subsequently setting it ablaze, police said on Tuesday.

Police personnel outside Anjuman Mosque which was set ablaze in Sector 57 area, in Gurugram on Tuesday. (PTI)

Later in the evening, four people were arrested this connection, officers said.Their identities were yet to be disclosed.

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The incident is said to have occurred at around 12.10am on Tuesday, with a mob carrying sticks attacking Anjuman Jama Masjid in New Gurugram. Some entered the mosque and attacked those inside. Soon after, the mob set the mosque on fire.

“A mob of around 45 attacked the mosque late on Monday night and it was later set on fire. At least one person is confirmed dead and three are injured and hospitalised. Among these, one is said to be critical,” said Gurugram DCP East, Nitish Agarwal.

The person killed has been identified as the mosque’s deputy or naib imam, Mohammad Hafiz Saad, 29, who belonged to Sitamarhi in Bihar. Police said that he suffered multiple stab injuries in chest, abdomen and limbs.

Also read: Haryana unrest: Fresh violence erupts in Gurugram, mob burns shops

Kala Ramachandran, CP, Gurugram, said that the police have identified the attackers. “The attackers have been identified by the police and following raids conducted throughout the night, several of the attackers have been rounded up. Security around places of worship has been tightened.”

The CP also clarified that the sadar imam of the mosque was not present at the mosque at the time of the attack. When contacted on Tuesday, sadar imam Mufti Shahnawaz Mohammad said there were five people on the premises of the partially constructed mosque when it was attacked.

“The mob got hands on Saad and Khursheed Ahmed, 52, who were asleep in a room outside the main structure. Mohammad Shahabuddin, 60, cleaner Mahmood, 39, and guard Izhar, 36, were in office and managed to flee,” Mufti Shahnawaz Mohammad said.

He also alleged that at least five to six people threatened them two months ago to stop organising Friday prayers, following which a police complaint was filed. “They were all from Tigra village located across the main road in front of the mosque,” he alleged. Hakim Khan, a local, who was at the spot when the mosque was set afire, alleged that the attackers had come from Tigra village.

Forensic experts and other senior officials visited the mosque later in the day. The area was cordoned off and heavy deployment was made around the mosque. An FIR was registered against 90-100 suspects in this connection, police said.

ASI Sandeep, who was at the spot, alleged in the FIR that the heavily armed mob pelted stones and opened fire on them after which they breached the security cordon and barged inside the mosque.

Clashes broke out in Haryana’s Nuh on Monday afternoon allegedly after a procession led by Hindu groups passing through the district was attacked. The attack left at least two home guards dead and dozens injured, including policemen. The violence began spreading to other parts of Haryana by Monday evening, with violence reported from Palwal, Faridabad and Gurugram too.

The Haryana government on Monday imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in Nuh and Gurugram, and the Centre sent 20 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces to control the situation.

The mosque, Anjuman Jama Masjid, is the one mosque in New Gurugram located on government-allocated land. It caters to a significant section of Gurugram’s Muslim population. Construction on the land started in 2004 but was stalled after some real estate players moved the court against allocation of land to the mosque. Although the mosque was semi-constructed when it got stuck in litigation, regular prayers are held in it.

A mufti who leads prayers at another government-designated site in the city said that he saw the mosque up in flames at 1am. “Around a 100-strong mob reached the mosque post midnight. The group included locals from Tigra village who had threatened the imam almost two months ago. Back then, police had also detained four to five people and the matter was defused. The mob included these people along with others. They were armed with swords, lathis, sticks, and rifles. The mosque was vandalised before it was set on fire,” said mufti Abdul Haseeb, president, Gurugram Imam Sangathan.

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