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Lulu Mall row: Yogi Adityanath orders strict action against those disturbing communal harmony

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. File

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath responded to the Lulu Mall controversy by directing the Lucknow administration to take strict action against those trying to disturb communal harmony and obstruct people from doing their work.

Addressing officials in Lucknow, Mr. Adityanath said, “In Lucknow, a mall has opened and is carrying out its business, but it has been made a hub of politics, unnecessary statements are being issued about it and protests are being held on the streets, disrupting the movement of the people. Despite being told by the Lucknow administration several times, efforts are being made to create anarchy and communal tensions.”

Mr. Adityanath said there were several ways to seek information (about the mall) but nobody would be allowed to obstruct the movement of people. “We have already made it clear roads are not meant for protest and religious practices. I direct the administration to strictly enforce the law.”

Tension broke out around the mall, inaugurated by Mr. Adityanath on July 10, after a video showing some people offering namaz on its premises went viral. Since then, the mall has been the site of protests by Hindutva organisation and several attempts have been made to conduct religious rituals inside the mall. Subsequently, the mall administration put up several notices that said religious prayers were not allowed inside the premises.

Four arrested for offering namaz

Meanwhile, the Lucknow Police on Tuesday arrested four people — Mohammad Rehan, Aatif Khan, Mohammad Lukman and Mohammad Noman — for allegedly offering namaz inside the Lulu Mall, as seen in the viral video. They were identified from the CCTV footage acquired from the mall, the Lucknow Police Commissionerate said in a statement. All four have been sent to judicial custody. Earlier, they had registered an FIR against “unidentified persons” under sections 153A(1) (promoting enmity between groups), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

No display of arms during religious processions

In light of the ongoing Kanwar Yatra, Mr. Adityanath directed State officials to ensure that no arms and weapons were displayed during the religious procession. He said that as the Yatra was being held after a gap of two years, the pilgrims were expected to be enthusiastic. “Hence, the administration should remain more cautious and vigilant. They should ensure that health posts functioned properly and there is proper arrangement of drinking water along the route.”

Emphasising the registration of Kanwar committees, Mr. Adityanath reiterated that roads were for the movement of the common man, and no religious activity that obstructed the road would be allowed. “The administration should ensure traffic route diversions on the Ghaziabad-Haridwar highway that gets the maximum pilgrims from neighbouring states,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 20, 2022 12:35:07 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/lulu-mall-row-yogi-adityanath-orders-strict-action-against-those-disturbing-communal-harmony/article65659406.ece