The Bareilly police prepared chargesheets in two separate cases lodged against the city’s head cleric and others for allegedly issuing ‘fatwas’ against activist Nida Khan last July for speaking out against triple talaq and nikah halala.
“The chargesheets will be filed in a local court in the next two days,” said Bareilly’s Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ashok Kumar Meena.
On July 15 last year, Markazi Darul Ifta of the Ala Hazrat Shrine had issued a ‘fatwa’ against Nida declaring that she be ostracised. The diktat was seconded by Bareilly city’s head cleric Khurshid Alam Razvi.
The ‘fatwa’ was issued days after Nida had in a press conference supported a woman who had alleged that she was given triple talaq and forced to marry her father-in-law in the name of nikah halala.
On July 20 last year, one Moin Khan, claiming to be chief of the ‘All India Faizan-e-Madina Council’, had announced, “If these women (Nida and the woman she had spoken in support of) do not leave the country in the next three days, pelt stones at them, cut their braids and force them to leave this country…”
On July 25, Nida had filed a police complaint against city imam Khurshid Alam Razvi and Mufti Afzaal Razvi of Ala Hazrat Shrine. The FIR was initially lodged under IPC sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 ( criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture act or intended to insult the modesty of a woman), police said.
On July 26, Nida filed another police complaint against Moin Khan under IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295-A, 504, 509 and 115 (abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life – if offence not committed).
She named her estranged husband Sheeran Raza Khan in both FIRs alleging that the ‘fatwas’ were issued on his directions.
“Since it could have disturbed law and order, no arrests were made,” said investigating officer of both cases, Sub-Inspector Rakesh Singh of Baradari police station.
While certain charges could not be “substantiated”, they were removed while other sections were added to both chargesheets.