Lucknow: A week after violence erupted in Uttar Pradesh over the remarks on Prophet Mohammad by a BJP leader, no untoward incident took place following the Friday prayers, an official said here. No protests were reported from any part of the state till afternoon (2.25 PM) and Friday prayers passed peacefully, ADG Law and Order Prashant Kumar said.

With the help of religious leaders and police administration the prayers were held in a peaceful manner in the state, he said. Speaking before the Friday prayers at Lucknow's Jama Masjid Idgah, Maulana Mohd Mushtaq urged the people to refrain from any kind of protest at the mosques, which he said is the place for offering namaz only.

In a release issued by the Islamic Centre of India, Maulana Mohd Mushtaq said that the purpose of mosques is to worship and offer namaz there and not for staging of protests.

In a goodwill gesture, people offered roses to the security personnel deployed outside the prominent 'Tile Wali' masjid in the state capital -- which was the places of sloganeering last Friday -- after the Friday prayers.

In Saharanpur, Prayers were observed peacefully amid heavy deployment of the police force and drone cameras. Flag marches had been held in Saharanpur and Deoband the past couple of days as a precautionary measure.

Aligarh too, reportedly, witnessed no confrontation or protests after the prayers, where they were observed amid tight security.

According to reports, the district authorities had conferred with the prominent people of both communities and top officials, including the district magistrate Inder Vir Singh, to discuss ways of restoring the peace. SSP Kalanidhi Naithani reportedly visited all communally sensitive spots of the city to oversee the situation.

The chief mufti of Aligarh, Khalid Hameed, had also issued an appeal urging members of the Muslim community "not to collect at any spot after offering Friday prayers." A report from Kannauj said the administration had made strict arrangements for road safety.

Reportedly, a drone camera in Chhibramau Kotwali area of the district found a pile of bricks on the roof of a religious place, which was removed following an order. Inspector Jai Prakash Sharma said that the purpose for collection of bricks on the roof is being ascertained.

UP Police had made elaborate security arrangements for the prayers in view of the state-wide violence that erupted following the Friday prayers last week over a remark against Prophet Mohammad by Nupur Sharma, a former BJP spokesperson. The first such protest had happened Kanpur on June 3, dueing which people fom Hindu and Muslim communities clashed with each other over the shutting down of a prominent market in the city. "We have made elaborate arrangements for the Friday prayers. Meetings with religious gurus, civil society and members of peace committees were held in different districts. These meetings were attended by senior officials of range and zone and also by concerned SHOs and outposts in-charge," Prashant Kumar had said on Thursday. "Help of civil defence and digital volunteers (of UP police) is also taken to maintain peace in the state," he had said.

In Prayagraj, a mob had set on fire a few motorcycles and carts, and also attempted to set ablaze a police vehicle last Friday. Police had used tear gas and lathis to disperse the protesters and restore peace.

Around 400 people have so far been arrested in connection with protests in Prayagraj, Saharanpur, Hathras, Aligarh, Firozabad and other districts of the state.

UP has been racked by high tension protests across its cities since last Friday, which was responded to by authorities, among other methods, with demolition of houses of some of the key accused. —IANS



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