Arrested for Namaz in Temple, Activist Tests Positive for COVID-19

“Faisal Khan has been kept at a quarantine centre in Mathura for now,” his colleague Pawan Yadav said. 

Published
India
2 min read
Faisal Khan is with the black scarf and the white kurta. Head of Khudai Khidmatgar, he and other members were on a yatra visiting several temples in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh to promote communal harmony from 24 to 29 October. 
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Faisal Khan, who was arrested after an FIR was registered against him and three others for allegedly offering namaz without permission at Nand Baba temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, 3 November. Khan is the founder of Khudai Khidmatgar, a Delhi-based social organisation that works to promote communal harmony in the country.

“After being arrested on 3 November, Faisal Khan was taken for a medical check-up which is when he tested positive for COVID-19. He has been kept at a quarantine centre in Mathura for now,” Pawan Yadav, who is a member of the National Leadership Council and spokesperson of Khudai Khidmatgar, told The Quint.

Khan and three others have been charged under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 505 (public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code at Mathura’s Barsana police station.

Khudai Khidmatgar members were on their yatra from 24 to 29 October, visiting several temples in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh to promote communal harmony.  As part of their journey they visited several other temples to promote religious harmony, including the Radha ka mandir in Barsana and all the ghats of Yamuna as well.

The controversy transpired when Khan reached Nand Baba temple in Mathura and offered namaz. While Yadav insists that Khan had taken permission before offering namaz, the temple priests have denied that he had any such permission. Kanha is one of the temple priests who had met Khan and registered the complaint against him. He said he was 'impressed about Khan's knowledge on Sanatan Dharam and even asked Khan to eat and go.' When asked why the complaint, he said, "What is he trying to show by reading namaz here, he didn't take my permission."

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