Lucknow LuLu Mall says 'religious work not allowed' after namaz video goes viral, FIR lodged
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha sought permission to read Sundar Kand in front of Lucknow's LuLu Mall after the namaz video went viral. The mall authorities have filed an FIR amid the namaz row.
The authorities of the newly inaugurated Lucknow LuLu Mall on Thursday said the mall respects all religions and any kind of religious work or prayer is not permitted, after a purported video of a group of people offering namaz inside the mall premises went viral. While it was claimed that those offering namaz were mall staff, the general manager of the mall, Sameer Verma, said mall floor staff and security staff are trained to keep an eye on such activities. The incident triggered a row after some members of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha staged a protest outside the mall after the video went viral.
The Hindu group also sought permission from the local authorities to recite Sundar Kaand in front of the mall on Friday.
"People from a particular community are being allowed to offer namaz inside the mall. The mall authorities should also allow Hindus and people from other communities to offer prayers," Sishir Chaturvedi, who identified himself as the national spokesman of the Mahasabha, told PTI. He alleged that they were not allowed to enter the mall on Thursday.
The Hindu group lodged a complaint against the mall and claimed that 70% of the mall staff are Muslim and by doing this, they are practising 'love jihad'.
The mall authorities filed a counter police complaint against unidentified persons under Sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
After Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru, the Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group opened its mall in Lucknow's Sushant Golf City. On July 10, the mall was inaugurated by chief minister Yogi Adityanath. LuLu Group chairman, Indian-origin billionaire Yusuff Ali MA was also present.
(With agency inputs)