Trouble breaks out over starting Juma prayer at masjid close to Dargah

Tension prevailed for some time in Ullal following a clash between two factions of the Sunni Muslim community over offering prayers at Mohiuddin Juma Masjid, which is opposite to the famous Syed Madani Dargah. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the two groups. Four persons, including two police personnel, were injured.

The factions, owing allegiance to two managing committees that sought to have the control over offering Juma (prayer offered on the first Friday after Bakrid), clashed.

The Masjid managing committee had decided to offer juma prayers on its premises instead of that of the Dargah contending that the Masjid had come out of the control of the Dargah in the last few months. The committee managing the Dargah contended that the prayers should be offered on its premises.

Sensing trouble, the Masjid committee had sought police protection. Just before prayers were to begin around noon, a group owing allegiance to the Dargah Committee started raising slogans to prevent prayers. They even stopped a few from entering the Masjid, according to the police. This led to heated exchanges between warring factions. Even as police tried to pacify them, some of them started exchanging blows and a virtual free-for-all prevailed. At one point of time, some miscreants pelted stones at police causing injuries to a police constable and a sub-inspector. This led police to lathicharge the miscreants and disperse the two groups.

Hyder Hussain, who had come for prayers at the Masjid, claimed that a few supporters of the Dargah committee managed to enter the Masjid and assaulted two persons. “We could not see the attackers as we were offering prayers. They were hit by a sharp object around the waist. Two have been taken to a hospital,” he said. He gave the names of the injured as Souhad and Shamshuddin. While one has been admitted to the Netaji hospital in Ullal, the other has been admitted to Unity Hospital. “Injuries are not serious. But it’s sad that these two were attacked at the time of prayers,” said Abdul Khader Jilani.

Shamshuddin underwent a surgery at a private hospital. He is said to be out of danger.

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