Three persons arrested for creating ruckus at mosque in Greater Noida
The police on Wednesday arrested three persons for allegedly creating ruckus at a mosque and throwing out mats and other things in Bhanota village in Surajpur. The suspects were identified as Satish Singh, Dinesh Sharma, and Neeraj, residents of Bhanota village.
The complainant, Sadin, said that there has been a mosque in the village since 2011. “We had bought a piece of land from a local in 1994 and donated it for the mosque. Locals later built the mosque and started offering prayers,” he said.
The complainant said that on March 22, a group of locals, including the suspects, reached the mosque and asked his family members, who are custodians, to lock it due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Sadin said that the mosque has been closed since then and no one has offered prayers there.
However, on April 28, a group of 100 to 150 persons gathered at the mosque and forced the family to open the lock. “They threw out the mats and other things from the mosque and also videographed the incident. They also threatened the local Muslims with dire consequences and left,” he said in the complaint. The complainant said that the mob also violated lockdown norms by gathering in huge numbers and creating a ruckus.
Chand Khan, a resident, said that there are around 100 Muslim families in the village and only one mosque. “We had built this mosque to offer prayers and educate our children. The premises have been locked for one month and there is no activity here. But a section of people does not want us to return to the mosque,” he said.
Pradeep Tripathi, station house officer, Surajpur police station, said that based on the complaint, they registered a case against the suspects under Section 147 (rioting), Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), Section 504 (intentional insult), and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
“The three suspects were arrested from their residences on Wednesday. During interrogation, they said that at the time of the land deal, the buyer had not stated that they would use the land for a mosque,” Tripathi said.
The three suspects were produced before a magistrate and sent to judicial custody.