August 8, 2020 6:25:14 am
Police have arrested two men for allegedly attempting to deface a mosque in Meerut by placing a saffron flag atop the structure. Images of the men, both in their 20s, posing with the saffron flag on a minaret of the structure, known as Kotwali mosque, went viral on social media.
SP (Meerut City) Akhilesh N Singh, however, said the photos are from 2019.
Singh said, “The social media cell of Meerut’s Crime Branch received a video of two men, purportedly belonging to a different religion, placing a flag at the place of worship of the minority community. Two people seen in that video have been arrested. Prima facie it appears that the video was shot last year and an inquiry is on.” An FIR was registered against the two men under IPC section 153 A (promoting enmity between religions).
The accused were identified as Ankit Tripathi and Arun, and according to a local BJP leader, Gopal Sharma, they are both activists of the Bajrang Dal.
A police officer said, “No law and order disruption happened in the area on Thursday and Friday when the photos surfaced on social media. We are investigating how the photos went viral, which potentially could have created communal tension.”
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