Kanpur: Prominent Muslim clerics in Kanpur have strongly opposed the FIRs registered against hundreds of people for offering prayers on roads on the last Friday of Ramzan and Eid.
Terming the police action 'unjustifiable', the clerics, who demanded that the cases be withdrawn, asked if the government or the district administration had decided that no religious event be held in public.
Citing their displeasure, the clerics, who met the Kanpur police commissioner, said in a memorandum: "All of us are guilty of the crime. Arrest not only the 1,700 people booked, but thousands of others also for the crimes mentioned in the FIRs."
The delegation that met the police chief included Shahr Qazi (Bareli) Mushtaq Mushahidi, Shahr Qazi (Deobandi) Qari Mamoor Ahmed and a dozen other clerics under the banner of Ulema Ahle Sunnat Mushwarati Board.
Last week, the Kanpur police had lodged three FIRs in Bajaria, Jajmau and Babupurwa against over 1,700 people for offering prayers on roads and defying the IPC section 144 that was in force.
The charges were IPC sections 186 (obstructing a public servant in discharging duties), 188 (disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant), 283 (causing danger, obstruction or injury to any person in any public way), 341 (wrongful restraint, and 353 (criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty). "Such an incident has never happened during festivals that are observed with peace and harmony. The FIRs are aimed at tearing apart the social fabric. Either they be withdrawn or thousands of us who prayed that day will offer their arrest," Mushahidi said. The Kanpur police, however, did not respond to the demands put forth by the clerics before the police commissioner. —IANS