Ghaziabad: Police deployed outside Haj House, FIR lodged against Congress workers
A large number of locals and Congress workers started gathering outside the Haj House near river Hindon from Monday afternoon, despite prohibitory orders in place in the district.noida Updated: Aug 01, 2017 23:07 IST
The Ghaziabad police arrested three persons and lodged an FIR under sections of the IPC and Criminal Law Amendment Act against them. Also, 14 persons were booked for causing damage to public property.
The police have also named the involvement of 300-400 unidentified persons for inciting violence near ‘Ala Hazrat Haj House’ on Monday night.
Those arrested include Naseem Khan, district president of Congress’ minority cell and Puja Chaddha, the district president of Congress’ women’s cell. Other Congress leaders have also been named in the FIR, in which the police alleged that 14 police personnel, including four sub-inspectors and a woman constable, were injured.
“The FIR is lodged at Sahibabad police station and we have arrested three persons in this connection. Teams are on the lookout for other persons and trying to identify them through video footage,” Akash Tomar, superintendent of police (city), said.
A large number of locals and Congress workers started gathering outside the Haj House near river Hindon from Monday afternoon, despite prohibitory orders in place in the district. The police also charged them under Section 188 of the IPC, which is applied only when prohibitory orders are violated.
“Naseem Khan and Puja Chaddha are not traceable. We will protest against the police and the administration and will also hand them a memorandum about the lathi charge carried out by police on innocent people who were staging a peaceful dharna outside the Haj House. There were some miscreants who resorted to violence but they were outsiders,” said Harendra Kasana, district president of the Congress.
For the last one week, since the Haj pilgrimage is on, locals have been demanding that the newly constructed Haj House, which was inaugurated by former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in September 2016, be opened.
However, the Haj House is caught up in litigation after three residents approached the National Green Tribunal and demanded its demolition, contending that the structure was built on land chunks of the Hindon floodplains.
The tribunal on September 2, 2016, had said in its order, “We make it clear that any steps or construction taken in the meanwhile shall be subject to the orders of the Tribunal passed in this Application (sic).”
Earlier on July 27, Hindustan Times had published a report listing the reasons for closure of the facility. In response, UP minister Mohsin Raza had said that the decision not to make the Haj House operational was taken by the previous government (led by former Akhilesh Yadav) and the present government is continuing the same.
“The decision was already taken by the previous government as the matter was with NGT even before the present government assumed office. The decision was taken to protect the environment and the river ecology. The influx of thousands of pilgrims is bound to create garbage issues in the river zone. This decision was taken earlier to avoid being in contempt of court,” Raza had said.
In the meantime, the district administration has deployed police and provincial armed constabulary personnel outside the Haj House and are keeping a tight vigil on activities that may lead to an escalation of law and order.