Four arrested for shooting at mosque; cops say they were looking for Tablighi Jamaat members
A day after a group of men opened fire at a mosque in Dhankot village, the police on Sunday arrested four men. According to the police, the men were allegedly looking for Tablighi Jamaat members after they received a text message that some of the members who had tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were nabbed by officials from the village.
The arrested men were identified by their first names as Vinod, 40, and Pawan alias Fighter, 41 (both from Basai village), Aalam Khan, 39, from Devilal Colony, and Harkesh, 18, from Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh. The police arrested them with the help of crime branch, Sector 17, from Basai road, after receiving a tip. One of the arrested men, Vinod, was involved in multiple cases of assault and fighting, the police said.
A case was registered against the men under Section 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Arms Act at Rajendra Park police station on Sunday.
The police said that the arrested men had allegedly received text messages on an instant messaging mobile application and seen posts on social media regarding the arrest of some Tablighi Jamaat members who tested positive for Covid-19.
Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), crime, said that the men were drinking together on Saturday evening. “After looking at the post on social media, they decided to go to the mosque in Dhankot village and check if any Tablighi Jamaat members were hiding there. They were travelling in a Gypsy jeep. When they reached the spot, they knocked at the gate of the mosque but no one came out. Vinod, who was carrying his licensed pistol, then fired two gunshots at the mosque.”
On Sunday, the police had received a complaint from the Imam of the mosque regarding the firing of gunshots. The complainant alleged that he had found an empty shell casing near the spot and a bullet hole in the gate of the mosque. The Imam was sleeping on the terrace of the building and did not hear the sound of the gunshots during the incident which took place on Saturday night. He was informed by the residents of the village about the shooting the next morning.