Lulu namaaz video: 4 arrested after 'strict action' order by Yogitext_fields
Lucknow: Days after a video of a group of people praying inside the newly opened Lulu Mall in Lucknow went viral online, four persons were arrested by the police on Tuesday for fostering enmity between groups. The video had sparked accusations of religious bias against the mall.
They were arrested after Yogi Adityanath, the UP Chief Minister called on the administration in Lucknow and ordered them to take "strict action against miscreants who create nuisance and try to vitiate the atmosphere".
Mohammad Rehan and Atif Khan from Lucknow and Mohammad Lokman and Mohammad Noman from Sitapur have been arrested in relation to this. Police officials have remarked that after the initial investigation, they understood that these four had "no motive" behind their offering prayer inside the mall.
Police stated that the four who were arrested are related to each other and are in their 20s. They added that Lokman and Noman are brothers. Noman assists his father run the family business while Rehan, Atif and Lokman are students, they said.
Adityanath stated on Monday night that a "commercial establishment has been turned into a political ground".
"Unnecessary statements are being made by certain people and demonstrations are being organised to obstruct the movement of people," he said.
The CM said that the incident was a "malicious attempt" to bring out communal disharmony. "Strict action should be taken against miscreants who are trying to create disturbance and spoil the atmosphere by promoting unnecessary issues", he added.
DK Thakur, the Lucknow Police Commissioner said that the other four people seen in the video are yet to be identified. Rajesh Srivastava, the Additional Divisional Commissioner of Police (Lucknow) said that the police were able to arrest the four accused with the help of surveillance and electronic devices, Indian Express reported.
A social media campaign had been launched against Mall after the viral video of the Namaaz, alleging that mostly Muslims from outside the state were employed in the Mall. The UAE-based Lulu Group having an annual turnover of $8 bn of which the Rs 2,000-crore mall belongs to, responded to these allegations and stated that "over 80 per cent" of its staff was Hindu."
Nanda Gopal Gupta "Nandi", the UP Minister for Infrastructure and Industrial Development told The Indian Express ok Monday that the mall incident was the work of "anti-social elements" who are "troubled by the constant success of the government in attracting investment towards the state".
On Monday too, the police took into custody a man who identified himself as Mahant Paramhans Das from Ayodhya. He was detained outside the mall after he got into an argument with the police stationed at the mall. The police said that he was released later.
The Lulu Mall was inaugurated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on July 10 and was made open to the public the next day.
The mall administration filed a case over the incident that became viral on July 14 under IPC sections 153-A (1) (promoting enmity between groups), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 341 (wrongful restraint), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).
The police detained four people two days later, for trying to enter the mall to chant Hanuman Chalisa in response to the video. A case has been registered against them for breach of peace.