197 Congress workers detained for breaching sec 144: Delhi Police

New Delhi: Two men have been arrested for allegedly disrupting communal harmony and holding protest without permission in Delhi’s Jama Masjid area here last week to demand the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks against Prophet Mohammad, police said on Sunday.

Police are also scanning CCTV and mobile footage recorded by the public in the area to identify more culprits.

The two were arrested on Saturday night and have been identified as Mohd Nadeem (43), a resident of Jama Masjid area, and Faheem (37), a resident of Turkman Gate area, they said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Shweta Chauhan said, “On June 10, an FIR was registered at Jama Masjid police station against the protesters under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code as a protest was held in Jama Masjid area after Friday prayers without any permission. Also, section 153A IPC has been added for promoting communal disharmony in the area.”

Investigation is on to identify other persons involved, she said.

“We are scanning through footage of multiple CCTVs installed across the protest site and also looking through mobile footage recorded by the public to identify more culprits, if any, so that they can be nabbed,” the officer said.

According to police, after the Friday prayers, a large crowd had gathered on the steps of the famous mosque, carrying placards and shouting slogans against Sharma and Naveen Jindal, former head of the Delhi BJP’s media unit, for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the Prophet.

Around 1,500 people had gathered at the mosque for Friday prayers. When the prayers ended peacefully, some people came outside, started showing placards and shouted slogans. Some others also joined them later and the number went up to around 300, the DCP had said.

“Police deployment always remains at Jama Masjid during Friday prayers. The protesters were dispersed within 10 to 15 minutes and the situation is peaceful,” Chauhan had said.

The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, had distanced himself from the protest, saying nobody knows who the protesters were and demanded action against such people.

The row over the remarks against Prophet Mohammad escalated last week with protests from many Muslim countries, prompting the BJP to suspend Sharma and expel Jindal as the party asserted that it respects all religions.

The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against 31 people, including AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and controversial priest Yati Narsinghanand, and filed a separate case against Sharma for allegedly spreading hate and hurting religious sentiments.

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