Muslim scholars and mosque leaders across the country have appealed to people not to hold protests after Friday prayers against the objectionable remarks of a BJP leader on Prophet Muhammad. The appeal comes even as the Police in Uttar Pradesh have deployed drones to keep an eye on rioters a day when trouble could also come from youth protesting against the 'Agnipath' scheme.
The police have made tight security arrangements in major cities - Prayagraj, Kanpur, Lucknow, Moradabad, and Saharanpur.
Drone surveillance will be carried out in sensitive areas, officials said.
The police apprehend trouble following the Supreme Court sending a word of caution to the Yogi Adityanath government on going ahead with demolitions of the properties of men allegedly involved in rioting last Friday.
Meanwhile, taking charge of the situation, Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari said that people should keep a close watch on anti-social elements spreading chaos in the country.
He said "violent protests that took place in the country last week should not have happened. Before the protest, permission has to be taken from the police and administration. Blasphemy hurts the sentiments of the people, but chaos is not the way"
“It (protest) should be done peacefully. It is wrong to include children and youth in the demonstrations. People throw stones and in reaction, the police open fire. This has led to legal cases being slapped on many people and some are in jail. A large number of them are poor and do not have money for bail. All these things should be considered before creating a ruckus.” Sounding a note of caution he said, "I could have taken a microphone to say a few words of protest, but I deferred it because I knew emotions were running high."
Maulana Syed Athar Ali, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, has appealed to the Muslims of Mumbai not to participate in any protest after Friday prayers.
In his appeal, Maulana Syed Athar Ali said, "The situation is not right at the moment. If we hit the streets now, there is a possibility that some anti-social elements will incite violence.”
“It's Friday and we don't want the last week’s happening to be repeated. I appeal to the people and want to tell them that there are many organizations including the Personal Law Board, who will put our (Muslims) point of view at the proper platforms.”
Maulana Zaheer Abbas said that Muslims in Maharashtra need to understand that the state government and administration have extended their full support - the police have not only registered a case against Nupur Sharma but a team of Mumbai Police is also camping in Delhi.
Maulana Shafiq Qasmi, Imam of Nakhuda Masjid, Kolkata made a similar request against holding protests after Friday Namaz.
He said, “It’s wiser for us to fight the case legally, within the framework of the Constitution.”
The leaders have also cautioned the Muslim community against paying attention to rumours. Jamaat Ulama-e-Hind President Suhaib Qasmi said, "Islam is a religion of peace. This is how it should be seen. The Prophet has set an example of forgiveness in Islam and we should also follow it."
He said that Friday Namaz Jummah should be held in a peaceful manner across the country. The message of brotherhood, love, and non-violence should be given to Muslims across the country. Jamaat Ulama-e-Hind's president said, "There is no need to repeat what happened last Friday. Muslims of the country, especially the youth, should not be misled by anyone.