Karnataka police booked nine people and arrested four people in Bidar district after a group of people who were part of a Dussehra procession broke into a heritage madrasa and performed pooja early morning on Thursday, police said.
The incident took place on Wednesday. Photos and videos of the incident have gone viral on social media.
According to the complainant Mohammed Shafiuddin, who is a mosque committee member, the incident took place when a procession to immerse a ‘Durga’ idol was passing near the place in the early hours of Thursday.
About 60 people barged into the archaeologically-significant monument by breaking the lock, and raised pro-Hindu slogans while ‘gulal’ was also thrown inside the premises, it was alleged.
The mob also threatened the security personnel deployed there when they raised an alarm.
In his complaint, Shafiuddin alleged the miscreants with malafide intention to disturb peace, harmony and create violence in this district headquarters town have been active for a long time. They installed statues or photos on the premises and entered religious and government monuments, he alleged.
“This is also brought to your notice that these persons have been shouting slogans against the country and trying to instigate the other community,” Shafiuddin alleged in his complaint.
He also appealed to the police to book them under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Considered as a heritage building, the madrassa is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The madrassa, built in AD 1460 is considered as one of the important monuments in India.
The Hindutva brigade who barged inside the protected monument by breaking open locks, raised “Jai Sri Ram” and “Jai Hindu Rashtra” slogans and conducted worship according to Hindu rituals in one of the corners of the building, police said.
Photos and video show a big group standing on the steps of the monument. Nine cases have been lodged in connection with the incident and three persons taken into custody.
The Muslim organisations in Bidar have protested against the incident. They have also demanded action against the accused and warned of a huge protest after Friday prayers.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has also condemned the incident. “Extremists broke the gate lock and attempted to desecrate historic Mahmud Gawan masjid and mosque,” he charged.
Addressing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Bidar police, he asked, “How can you allow this to happen? BJP is promoting such activities only to demean Muslims,” he stated.
(with agency inputs)