Four Hindu Men Arrested for Chanting Hanuman Chalisa in Idgah
The incident comes just days after the row over two Muslim men performing namaz at the nearby Nand Baba temple.
Four Hindu men were arrested by the Mathura police on Tuesday, 3 November, after they chanted the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ at an Idgah in the town of Goverdhan, just outside Mathura.
The incident took place a day after controversy erupted over the offering of namaz prayers by two Muslim men at the nearby Nand Baba temple. The two Muslim men, claim to be part of the ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ organisation based in Delhi, with one of them Faisal Khan, claiming to be its head.
The incident at the Goverdhan Idgah appears to be a reaction to the namaz row. According to news agency PTI, a video clip of the incident is doing the rounds on social media showing one of the arrested men saying that if namaz could be offered for communal harmony in a temple (as Faisal Khan has claimed), they should be allowed to recite the Hanuman Chalisa in a mosque.
The four Hindu men, aged between 18 and 25, have been named by the police as Saurabh Nambardar, Raghav MIttal, Rauki and Kanha. Nambardar describes himself as a leader of the BJP youth wing BJYM, PTI reported.
Unlike in the namaz case, no criminal complaint was filed by the mosque clerics. Idgah cleric Nek Mohammad told The Times of India that they had no objection to the act by the four Hindu men, saying “What is the big deal if they read some religious book in the mosque.”
The police acted on their own instance, registering an FIR under Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows the police to arrest people to prevent a crime from being committed. However, all four men were released on bail by a Goverdhan magistrate on a surety of Rs 2 lakh each, according to PTI.
In the namaz case, however, the priests of the temple had registered a complaint against the two Muslim men and their Hindu companions after images of the namaz being offered in the temple premises went viral. The police registered an FIR under Sections 153A and 505 of the IPC dealing with incitement of communal hatred.
The Mathura police on Tuesday added a charge of impersonation and cheating to the FIR, claiming that Khudai Khidmatgar’ was the name of an organisation which had been closely associated with freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and had been ‘virtually defunct’ after the death of the man known as the ‘Frontier Gandhi’, PTI reported.
Faisal Khan’s bail application after his arrest was rejected, and he has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days, though he was shifted to hospital as he had tested positive for COVID-19.
(With inputs from PTI and Times of India.)
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