The police are suspicious that the people caught on camera offering Namaz made the video purposely to create communal enmity and hatred between the community as the mall authorities shared the clip.
Mumbai: The controversy which erupted on Wednesday after a video surfaced on social media showing a group of people offering Namaz at the recently inaugurated Lulu Mall in Lucknow, to which the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and a few other right-wing Hindu groups objected and said that they will recite Hanuman Chalisa in the mall, has now taken a spin.
An FIR was filed (under sections 153A and 295A of the IPC) by the police against the people who offered Namaz in a public area. Mall’s administration also refuted the allegations that were made against it by people that the mall is biased toward its Muslim employees. The police probed and it was found that employees of the mall comprise 80% Hindus and the remaining 20% are Muslims, Christians, and other communities. “Our employees are hired on the basis of skills and merit, and not based on caste, class, or religion,” mall authorities said.
The CCTV footage certainly has made the police suspicious that the video was purposely made to create communal enmity and hatred between the community as the mall authorities shared the clip. It is clearly seen in the footage that eight men enter into the mall together, without making any effort to look around the mall or visit any showroom. Neither they purchased anything nor were they interested in taking selfies. In a hurry, they searched for a place to sit down in order to offer Namaz. They first tried the basement, followed by the ground floor and the first floor but the security guards stopped them. Hence, they proceeded to a less crowded place ,to the second floor. It is clearly visible in the CCTV clip that the six of them immediately sat down and started offering Namaz while the remaining two appear to have got busy recording videos and taking photographs, according to National Herald report. Roughly, it takes like 10 minutes to complete the ‘Namaz’, these men completed it in less than a minute in a haste, only in 18 seconds indeed after which they exited the mall in a hurry without looking around the mall.
Activist and social worker Tahira Hasan, who has been raising concerns of a conspiracy right since the beginning of this issue, says that the men didn’t have an idea that Namaz is always offered while facing the Kaaba, which is roughly the west direction in north India. While all of them face the West, one of them has his face to a different direction, as the recorded footage shows. Social activist Deepak Kabir also pointed out the fact that the pious Muslims will hardly pay attention to making videos than offering prayers.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Rajesh Kumar Shrivastava agreed that the footage made it clear that the men had no clue about how Namaz is offered, in a hope for the miscreants to be arrested soon.
As DCP (South) and Sushant Golf City Inspector on Saturday failed to scan the footage when the controversy began , they were replaced mall management had sought time to scan the footage and shared the incriminating footage with the police.
The authorities of mall has put up notices across the premises on Friday declaring, “No religious prayers will be permitted in the mall.”
The Lulu Mall in Lucknow was inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on July 10 and has been opened by Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group, led by Indian-origin billionaire Yussuf Ali M A.
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