ALIGARH POLICE booked three office-bearers of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) under rioting and other charges after the latter staged a protest against the release of an upcoming film called ‘Ram Janambhoomi’ Saturday. Police claimed the protesters burnt posters carrying photographs of UP Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi — who has written and produced the film — and argued with police.
Denying these claims, state general secretary of the AIMIM’s youth wing Syed Nazim Ali said they had gone to submit a memorandum to the district magistrate expressing fears that the film could create differences between Hindus and Muslims, as well as a law and order situation in the state. The other two accused are the outfit’s city president Salman Ali and youth wing (city) president Arshad Mirza, said police. No one has been arrested so far.
Police said the protesters blocked roads and created a ruckus. “Without obtaining permission, AIMIM workers and others on Saturday took out a procession to reach the collectorate. They handed over a memorandum to Circle Officer Pankaj Srivastava. On returning, they staged an agitation at Shamshad Market, which is around a kilometre from the collectorate,” said Station House Officer (SHO) of Civil Lines police station Vinod Kumar.
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“They burnt posters carrying Waseem Rizvi photographs and raised slogans against him. When a police team tried to stop them, they entered into arguments with us. Cops had to use force to disperse the crowd,” said Vinod Kumar. Later, an FIR was registered against the three as well as 30 unidentified persons on charges of rioting and assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty.
AIMIM’s youth wing (city) president Arshad Mirza said they had taken permission for their protest. However, he also claimed that they had burnt posters during their agitation.
When contacted, Syed Nazim Ali said, “We saw the promo of the film and found (that it had) some controversial dialogues targeting a particular community We decided to intimate the district administration and state government. On Saturday, we went to the collectorate with demands to stop screening of the film because it may create differences between two communities and cause a law and order problem.”
Waseem Rizvi denied Ali’s claims, saying, “Some people are making false allegations. The censor board will decide on the content of the film.”