No FIR on woman for offering namaz in hospital, say Prayagraj Police

The Prayagraj Police on Friday denied the news of registering a case against a Muslim woman for offering Namaz on the premises of Tej Bahadur Sapru Chikitsalaya in the city. A video was circulated on social media in which a woman can be seen offering Namaz and later it was said the police had registered a case over the issue. “It was found that the woman was offering Namaz without any wrong intention or was not disturbing anyone. She was offering prayers only for the betterment of the patient. The act of the woman does not amount to any crime,” said the Prayagraj Police in a statement.

The woman was an attendant to a patient at the Tej Bahadur Sapru Chikitsalaya. As she was offering prayers, a video was recorded and many reports claimed that a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against the woman over the incident. It led to political reaction with Hyderabad parliamentarian and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi targeting the Uttar Pradesh Police over the lodging cases against Muslims for offering Namaz. “If admitted to the hospital, taking care of their relatives, in some corner, without hurting anyone, if they pray according to their religion, then what is the crime in this? Does the UP Police have any other work? Wherever Namaz is offered, FIR is registered against the Namazis,” Mr. Owaisi tweeted.

In recent times many incidents have been reported in Uttar Pradesh, where the police have registered FIRs on people for allegedly disturbing peace during offering. Namazthe most recent case was the Moradabad Police registering an FIR under IPC 505-2 (statement leading to public mischief in an assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship) against 26 people for offering Namaz in a house.

In 2019, the Uttar Pradesh Police directed the district police chiefs and other officials to ensure no Namaz was offered by blocking roads and it could be allowed on festivals only.

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