On June 23, Maulvi Shaukat Ali, director of a coaching facility in Ghaziabad, was arrested by the police following a complaint that alleged he had organized a congregational prayer session inside the Ghaziabad coaching institute.
According to the police, a complaint was lodged by Hindu community members who expressed their objection to the prayers being conducted.
The Station House Officer (SHO) of Khoda Police Station, where the First Information Report (FIR) was registered, stated that Maulvi Shaukat Ali had been operating a madrasa within the coaching institute premises, and the joint prayers were taking place there.
Sub Inspector of Police Prem Singh, who lodged the FIR said while he was patrolling the Nehru Garden Chowki area with the police team on June 23, he saw “collective prayers” being held by Muslims inside the Future Track Coaching Institute of Deepak Vihar.
“The people of the Hindu community living nearby were opposing it,” Singh said.
“This coaching institute was converted into a madrasa. But despite not having a mosque, congregational prayers were being conducted here. This act of Shaukat Ali, the coaching/madrasa director, created religious hatred among the people of other communities around. There is a possibility of deteriorating social harmony,” he said.
A police officer from the Khoda Police Station while talking to The Observer Post, said that Shaukat Ali was not arrested solely for offering prayers.
“He was arrested for organizing congregational prayers within the coaching centre,’ he said. The official further mentioned that Shaukat Ali has been sent to court.
SHO Yogendra Malik also stated that Maulvi Shaukat Ali, believed to be the owner of the coaching centre, was apprehended on Saturday and is presently being presented in court.
“Offering Namaz is not wrong but Maulvi Shaukat Ali used to ask nearby residents and pupils to offer Namaz inside the coaching centre. Since it is not a mosque, such activity is prohibited in the neighbourhood,” he said.