October 3, 2017 2:07:56 am
A local mosque in Chhaprauli village in Noida Sector 135 was allegedly vandalised after another community raised objections over Friday prayers being offered there, police said. While an FIR is yet to be registered, a meeting between various sections of the local communities and district officials is set to take place on Tuesday morning.
“There was some vandalism at the mosque in Sector 135. Once a police complaint is filed, an FIR will be registered. The situation is under control, there is no communal tension. But security has been deployed in the area as a preventive measure,” SSP Gautam Budh Nagar, Love Kumar, said.
The incident allegedly took place around 9 am on Monday.
“Some youths beat up the Imam. They broke the windows and also vandalised the graveyard. We informed police, who asked us to file a complaint. But we held a meeting in the village. We have been asked to wait till tomorrow, when another meeting will be held. We have been assured that the culprits will apologise. It is a matter of the village; all of us have to live together,” Noor Mohammad, a resident, who is also a member of the mosque’s committee, claimed.
Best of Express Premium
According to Mohammad, for the last few months, the attackers had been “demanding that the mosque stop operations”.
“Some anti-social elements, mostly youths from the area, raised objections to the use of loudspeakers for azaan. A meeting had been called last Thursday on the matter, but the venue was changed at the last minute. They had asked us to meet them at a village elder’s house. But when we got there, we were told the venue had been changed. Some people warned us, saying anti-social elements from the village had organised the meeting to beat us up,” Mohammad alleged.
While Mohammad maintained that the area has not witnessed any communal tension in the past, he said the incident was linked to the local mosque being shifted to another site last year.
“Earlier, Noor mosque was located inside the village. It was a small mosque. Over the years, the number of people visiting the mosque to offer namaaz on Fridays increased. Some locals objected, so we found another spot half a kilometre away. It was decided that daily prayers will be offered at the old mosque, and the new mosque will be used on Fridays and festivals when there are more people,” Mohammad claimed.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.