TENSION prevailed in a Muslim-dominated area of Siddharth Nagar district after the district administration sealed a building from where a mosque and madrasa were running “illegally” for over a month.
The administration claims to have acted after an inquiry into on a complaint from Kapilvastu BJP MLA Shyam Dhani ‘Rahi’ that the owner of the building had only permission for a house and not the madrasa on the ground floor or the mosque on the first. The owner’s grandson, however, denied that the building was used as a mosque for the public, and said that the madrasa was affiliated to the UP Madrasa Board.
On the MLA’s complaint, an FIR was lodged against building owner Hasmullah and his grandsons Saifudeen and Kamrudeen at Sadar police station under IPC sections 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), said SHO Shamsher Bahadur Singh.
“During preliminary inquiry, it was found that Hasmullah had procured power connection at the building mentioning it as a mosque. Last month, three loudspeakers were installed at the top of the building and an announcement was made that a mosque has been established there and locals could offer prayers. Hence, FIR was lodged into the matter,” he said, adding that map for construction house was passed in November, 2017.
“People of Hindu community too live in the same area. We invoked IPC sections 295 and 295-A on grounds of allegations that the actions of the accused could cause disturbance of communal harmony. The detailed investigation would find out if the charges are true against the accused,” he said. When contacted, MLA Shyam Dhani claimed, “I was informed by locals last month that Hasmullah Haji was constructing a house on his land at Belsar area. On May 17, he made an announcement through three loudspeakers installed at the building that the place is now a ‘Jama Masjid’ of the district and all Muslims of the district could offer prayers there.”
“Such announcement disturbed communal harmony in the area as Hindus too live there,” he said. “There was no permission sought from district administration to run a mosque, thus I wrote a letter to the district magistrate and SP of Siddharth Nagar to get an inquiry done and an FIR lodged into the matter. I have also requested them to check the source of income of Hasmullah and his family.” When contacted, Hasmullah’s grandson Saifudeen denied that any announcement was made from the “mosque”.
“The Madrasa was running on the ground and is affiliated to the UP Madrasa Board. On the first floor, 42 children, who were enrolled last month, had been taking prayer lessons. District administration is harassing us and we will move court to get the building unsealed,” said Saifudeen.
Sub-divisional magistrate Naugarh (Siddharth Nagar) Rajesh Singh, said, “On the basis of the report, I issued an order on June 2 to seal the building and it was enforced the same day. The building is sealed and police force has been deployed outside since then.”