LUCKNOW: Faisal Khan, the founder of Delhi-based social organisation Khudai Khidmatgar was arrested after he was booked along with three others for allegedly offering namaz at Nand Baba temple in Barasana in Mathura district.
After being arrested in Delhi, Faisal Khan was handed over to Uttar Pradesh police, said the sources.
On Sunday, the UP police had filed an FIR against four persons – Faisal Khan, Chand Mohammad, Alok Ratan, and Nilesh Gupta -- at Barsana police station in Mathura after photographs of two of them offering namaz in the courtyard of the temple on October 29 went viral on social media.
Police sources said while Faisal Khan and Chand Mohammad offered namaz on temple premises, Nilesh Gupta and Alok Ratan clicked their pictures. They have been charged under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), and 505 (public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
The FIR was filed on the basis of a complaint lodged by Nandbaba temple priest Kanha Goswami. In his complaint, the priest claimed that they offered namaz on temple premises stealthily.
He claimed that all four told him that they were on a tour for the past four days and wanted to perform the 84 kosi parikrama of the temple. "Faisal Khan has knowledge of Sanatan Dharm. He talked about Ramayan and Ramcharitmanas. I gave them prasad and they left. But I am not aware when they came back and offered namaz at the back side of the shrine," said the priest.
Goswami approached the Barsana police and lodged a complaint when the picture of Faisal Khan and Chand Mohammad went viral on social media.
In his complaint, the priest added that their act of offering namaz on the temple premises had hurt the sentiments of Hindus. It should be probed thoroughly to see if the act was to vitiate the atmosphere and also if there was a case of foreign funding by any Muslim organisation behind the incident, said the complainant.
It reads: “Without informing or taking permission from those at the temple premises, they offered their namaz here. Those who came with them took photos of them praying and posted it on social media, after which it became viral. This is also being shown in the news. Because of their acts, the sentiments of the Hindu community have been hurt. We are apprehensive that they will incorrectly use the image of the temple. We also have our apprehensions regarding this organisation and if it is getting funding from foreign Muslim institutions and has relations with them. We would like an investigation as we are worried that they did this to hurt the harmony in the area.”
The sources claimed that Khudai Khidmatgar was an organisation founded by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, also called Frontier Gandhi. In 2011, Faisal Khan revived it to primarily work on communal harmony.
On Monday, while the saints and seers of Mathura and Ayodhya termed it as conspiracy towards communal flare-up, the devotees of Barsana allegedly washed the temple premises.
Former Shia Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi rejected it as an act of communal harmony. He termed it as a plot to breach amity. “If their intention was to maintain communal amity, instead of offering namaz, Faisal Khan should have performed ‘aarti’ of the deity. Then it could have been considered as an act of amity,” said Rizvi.