Friday sermon and prayer was held at Mohiyuddin Jumma Masjid at Melangadi in Ullal after the Karnataka High Court on Thursday permitted holding of only regular Friday prayers at the masjid. The High Court directed the Mangalore City Police Commissioner to take a decision on “whether or not to allow” Friday congregation (Jamaath) after the prayers based on his assessment of law and order situation.

Justice A.S. Bopanna passed the orders on the petitions filed by the two factions – the president of the Melangadi Masjid Committee and the president of Ullal Jumma Masjid and Sayyid Madani Dargah Committee, Ullal.

While the Melangadi Masjid Committee had questioned the interim order passed by the Karnataka State Wakf Board on October 24 restraining the committee from holding Friday prayers on the renovated mosque premises, the Ullal Masjid and Dargah Committee had sought a direction for effective implementation of the Board’s order on restraining prayers.

The dispute started after the Melangadi committee recently resumed the Friday prayers following the renovation of the around 200-year-old mosque. The dispute had recently resulted in a clash between the two groups at Ullal injuring six persons.

The Ulla Masjid and Dargah Committee had approached the Wakf Board for restraining the Melangadi Masjid Committee from holding Friday prayers and congregation, while the latter had claimed by the board had no jurisdiction over this issue as it should be decided by kazis and moulvis while claiming that Friday prayers were going on in the mosque since its inception.

The High Court said that “at this juncture, any positive order passed by this court by way of interim directions, either to prevent or allow prayers would not be justified. However, the regular prayers on Fridays, except the congregation, in any event would go on without hindrance.”

“In order to allow or not to allow any particular kind of congregation in the manner in which Melangadi Masjid Committee have sought, at this juncture, it would be appropriate to allow the Commissioner of Police to make his own assessment through his subordinates with regard to the situation in the place. For the present, it would entirely be the discretion of the Commissioner of Police on such inputs to allow or not to allow any kind of congregation on Fridays keeping in mind the law and order situation in the area until further orders from this court,” said Justice Bopanna in his order.

Further hearing on the petitions has been adjourned to next week.

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