After Yogi orders ‘strict action’, four held in Lulu namaz video

Days after a video was circulated on the Internet, a group of men Advance Namaz Inside the newly opened Lulu Mall in Lucknow, sparking allegations of religious bias against the establishment, police on Tuesday arrested four people, they said, who appeared in this clip on charges of promoting intergroup hostility.

The arrests came a day after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath withdrew the Lucknow administration and directed it to take “stern measures against the miscreants who are causing inconvenience and trying to spoil the atmosphere”.

The four detainees have been identified as Lucknow residents Muhammad Rehan and Atif Khan, and Sitapur residents Muhammad Luqman and Muhammad Numan. According to the police, preliminary investigations showed that there was no “motive” behind them performing prayers inside the mall.

The police said that all the detainees are in their twenties and are related to each other, adding that Luqman and Nouman are brothers. Police said Rehan, Atef and Luqman are students while Numan helps his father with the family business.

Late on Monday evening, Adityanath said that “a business enterprise has turned into a political ground”. He said: “There are unnecessary statements made by certain people and demonstrations are being organized to obstruct the movement of people.”

The prime minister said a “malicious attempt” was being made to create societal disharmony, and said, “stern action must be taken against miscreants who are trying to foment unrest and spoil the atmosphere by promoting unnecessary issues”.

Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur said the identities of four others seen in the video had yet to be confirmed. Rajesh Srivastava, Additional Commissioner of Police (Lucknow), said the police tracked down the four who were arrested with the help of monitoring and electronic devices.

The Namaz video sparked a social media campaign against the mall, with claims that it mostly employed members of the Muslim community from outside the country. In response, the 2,000-crore mall, which is part of the UAE-based Lulu Group with an annual turnover of $8 billion, took the unusual step and issued a statement saying that “more than 80 per cent” Of his employees are Hindus.

Earlier on Monday, UP Minister of Infrastructure and Industrial Development Nanda Gopal Gupta “Nandy” told the Indian Express that the incident at the mall was the work of “anti-social elements” who were “disturbed by the government’s continued success in attracting investment towards the state.” “.
Also on Monday, police arrested a man who identified himself as Mahant Paramans Das from Ayodhya. The man was arrested outside the mall after he got into an argument with the police deployed there. Police said he was later released.

The mall opened to the public on July 11, the day after it was opened by the Prime Minister.

After the namaz video went viral, the mall management registered a case related to the incident on July 14 under Section 153-A (1) (Promoting Intergroup Hostility), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to provoke religious sentiments in persons. any class by insulting their religion or religious beliefs), 341 (unlawful restraint), and 505 (statements conducive to the public
Harm).

Two days later, the police arrested four people for allegedly trying to enter the mall to recite Hanuman Chalisa in response to the video. They were detained on charges of violating the peace.

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