‘People who entered the masjid for morning prayers stayed until noon to offer Juma’

An uneasy calm prevailed near Syed Madani Dargah in Ullal for sometime on Friday as police stood vigil to ensure Juma prayer at the nearby Mohiuddin Juma Masjid passed off without any untoward incident.

Two Sunni groups have locked horns over starting the Juma (Friday) prayer at the masjid. Clashes and stone pelting last Friday led to injuries to six persons including a few policemen leading to a lathi-charge. Shamsuddin (40), one of the injured, is receiving treatment at the intensive care unit of a hospital in Mangalore.

Juma prayers were offered at the masjid for the second consecutive Friday despite an interim order issued yesterday by the Karnataka State Wakf Board urging the people concerned not to offer ‘Juma kutba namaz” at the masjid “till further orders”.

Arrests

Police took into custody Mustafa, president of the managing committee of the masjid, when he along with six others tried to enter the masjid to offer prayer at noon. The committee’s contention is that the masjid was no longer in the control of the Dargah and that that it was entitled to hold prayer on its premises. On the other hand, the committee looking after the management of the Dargah, has secured a ban on prayers from the Wakf Board.

Mr. Mustafa claimed that more than 50 people offered Friday prayer at the masjid. He said the people who arrived at the masjid for early morning prayers stayed till noon and offered Juma and thereby thwarted attempts by police to prevent people from entering the masjid.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (South) Pavan Nejjur, who was on the spot, said that police did not allow anyone into the masjid as requested by the Wakf Board. “We don’t know what happened inside the masjid.”

A three-member team of officials of Karnataka Wakf Board which visited the masjid advised the managing committee not to give scope for disturbing peace. The Board has in a letter assured the police that a solution would be hammered out in 15 days in consultation with khazis.

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