Controversy after BJP leader hoists national flag at Agra’s Jama Masjid

Updated on Aug 17, 2021 12:54 AM IST

Such events at the Jama Masjid are against Islamic values and offenders should fear the Almighty, says Shahar Mufti

Flag hoisting on Jama Masjid premises in Agra on Independence Day . (Sourced)
Flag hoisting on Jama Masjid premises in Agra on Independence Day . (Sourced)

AGRA Independence Day celebrations at the Jama Masjid in Agra led to a controversy after Shahar Mufti Abdul Khubaib Roomi and a local Congress leader Haji Jamiluddin condemned UP Minority Commission chairman and BJP leader Ashfaq Saifi for flag hoisting and singing nation anthem at a madarsa on the premises.

The event was hosted by Local Islamia Agency, which manages the affairs of the Jama Masjid.

In an audio that went viral on social media, the Shahar Mufti condemned such events at the Jama Masjid, saying they were “against Islamic values and the offenders should fear the Almighty.” But the chairman of UP Minority Commission, who was present there as chief guest, justified the flag hoisting and singing of national anthem on the premises.

“This was one of the many events organised on the occasion of Independence Day. I was present as chief guest at the Jama Masjid, where the programme was hosted by a madarsa, which is recognized by the government,” stated Ashfaq Saifi on Monday.

“As usual on I-Day, the national anthem was sung, the national flag was hoisted and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ was chanted. India got independence after contribution from all communities and as such there cannot be a religious divide in it. A controversy is unnecessarily being created over an I-Day event organized at Jama Masjid in Agra,” stated Saifi.

Local Congress leader and national vice president of All India Jamaitul Quresh, Haji Jamilluddin Qureshi, stood in support of the Shahar Mufti and condemned the event organized at Jama Masjid.

“There was no logic in using the premises of Jama Masjid for holding an Independence Day event. It could have been organized anywhere near Jama Masjid, in the open. The Jama Masjid premises has its own sanctity and has been dragged into controversy needlessly by organizing such an event,” he said.

However, chairman of Local Islamia Agency, Haji Aslam Qureshi, the host of the event and the one who invited the UP Minority Commission chairman for it, justified holding the Independence Day event on Jama Masjid compound.

He demanded security for himself alleging that he was receiving threats after organizing the event.

“Shahar Mufti is not justified in opposing the Independence Day event at Jama Masjid and has used harsh words against us. We would file an FIR and seek security for ourselves in wake of threats being issued for hosting Independence Day event at Jama Masjid,” said Qureshi.


    Hemendra Chaturvedi is based in Agra serving as a Principal Correspondent, covering districts of Agra and Aligarh division of western Uttar Pradesh. He has been with HT since 1992 and has completed 25 year of association with HT.

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