Several local mosque committees in Old City are urging people to offer prayers at neighbourhood mosques instead of the Mecca Masjid near Charminar, which has witnessed clashes between protesters and the police in recent weeks.
In what is seemingly a new move, officials of the neighbourhood mosques are playing their part in convincing youngsters to maintain law and order near the Charminar. The trend of elders requesting people to pray at their nearest mosques is likely to continue till normalcy is restored in Old City, police said. Senior police officials said they expected some trouble on December 7, a day after the 20anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, and attributed the thwarting of major violence to the masjid committees and neighbourhood elders along with the security arrangement.
According to some residents, mosque committee members went about talking to youngsters and urging them not to pray at Mecca Masjid. "There have been a couple of occasions when people from mosques in the area have requested them to pray elsewhere,preferably at mosques near their residence or place of work," S Q Masood, a resident of Kalapather said. "It is natural that parents and concerned elders wouldn't want their children to have police cases opened against them," a resident of Yakutpura said. A few residents welcomed the move saying it was only a handful, who indulge in sloganeering and stone-pelting . "This is a good move which will help the youth stay out of trouble," said Mohammed Saleem, a resident of Sultan Shahi. There were others who said mosque committees might have been pressurised by the police to discourage people from praying at the Mecca Masjid.