February 2, 2020 2:07:52 pm
THE BJP government in the state has given Prayagraj police sanction to prosecute Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi in a 2016 case in which he was booked for promoting enmity.
The case pertains to alleged illegal construction done at Imam Bara, a religious place, in Prayagraj, police said.
Around four months ago, Prayagraj police had written to the government seeking permission to prosecute Rizvi in the case.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Prayagraj) Satyarth Aniruddha Pankaj said, “The government has now given prosecution sanction against Waseem Rizvi and soon a chargesheet will be filed against him in the case.”
In October last year, the state government had recommended CBI probe into two cases lodged against Rizvi — the one in Prayagraj and the another in Lucknow in which he and four others are named in the FIR.
The FIR against Rizvi in Prayagraj was filed under IPC sections 441 (criminal trespass) and 447 (punishment for criminal trespass) by one Sudhank Mishra in August, 2016.
“Rizvi is accused of changing original form of the religious place — Imam Bara — by carrying out illegal construction. Around 30 shops were constructed by changing the original form of the place. Several other sections of IPC, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), was also invoked against him. Section 153-A was including because there was an attempt to promote religious sentiments by changing original form of religious place,” said Investigating Officer of the case, Sub-Inspector Ravindra Yadav.
He added, “Around four months ago, a letter was sent to the state government through senior police officers seeking prosecution sanction against Rizvi under IPC section 153-A.”
Rizvi, who has been serving as Shia Waqf Board chief for over a decade, has been speaking in favour of the BJP since it came into power in the state. He had given a call for scrapping of madrasa education, alleging that madrasas were promoting “terror activities.” In the past, Rizvi had an made appeal to Muslims to give up their claim on all disputed sites and also hand over the places to Hindus to “correct the mistakes of ancestors”. Under him, the Shia Waqf Board had even filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court claiming that the Babri Masjid was Shia Waqf property.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines