UP Police makes 5th arrest in Lulu Mall namaz case

  • | Saturday | 23rd July, 2022

Lucknow, Jul 23 (PTI) The Uttar Pradesh police Saturday held another person in connection with the unauthorised offering of namaz on a shopping mall premises here, which marks the fifth arrest in the case so far.Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Rajesh Kumar Srivastav said, "Mohammad Adil, a resident of Chaupatiya in Lucknow, was arrested. The accused was among the people who offered religious prayers on the mall premises without permission." This comes three days after the police arrested four persons in the case.The officer said efforts are being made to arrest other accused in the case. None of those arrested is staff of Lulu Mall, which was inaugurated recently by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.The arrests have been made after Adityanath Monday directed the administration to act tough against elements "hell-bent on vitiating the atmosphere" in the state.A video of people offering namaz at Lulu Mall had surfaced on social media on July 13. The incident kicked up a row as a right-wing Hindu outfit objected to the namaz being on the mall premises and sought permission to recite the Hanuman Chalisa there.Some members of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha staged a sit-in at the gate of Lulu Mall on July 14.Shishir Chaturvedi, who claimed to be the national spokesperson of the Mahasabha, had alleged that people belonging to a particular community were being allowed to offer prayers inside the mall. The mall authorities should also allow Hindus and other religions to offer prayers inside the mall, he had said.Sameer Verma, general manager of the mall in Lucknow, in a video statement had said, "Lulu Mall respects all religions. Any kind of religious work or prayer is not permitted here. We train our floor staff and security staff to keep an eye on such activities." On July 15, two people were arrested by police and at least 15 detained for creating a ruckus when they tried to enter the mall premises without permission.The local police have beefed up security near the Mall located at Shaheed Path following the incident. The Mall wa inaugurated by Adityanath earlier this month in presence of senior party leaders. PTI CDN TIR TIR

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