The Lucknow Police on Thursday filed a case against unknown persons who offered namaz at the city’s newly-opened Lulu Mall on July 12.
A video of some persons offering namaz at the mall was shared widely on social media.
A complaint was filed at the Sushant Golf City police station by Sibtain Hussain, the public relations manager of the mall, The Indian Express reported.
The police lodged a first information report under Sections 153A(1) (promoting enmity between groups), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had inaugurated the mall on Sunday, India Today reported. Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate Lulu Group, founded by Indian-origin billionaire Yussuf Ali MA, owns the mall.
After the namaz video was shared on social media, members of Hindutva outfit Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha held a protest outside the gate of the mall. They demanded permission from the authorities to chant the Hanuman Chalisa near the mall on Friday, according to PTI.
“People from a particular community are being allowed to offer namaz inside the mall,” said Shishir Chaturvedi, a national spokesperson of the organisation. “The mall authorities should also allow Hindus and people for other communities to offer prayers.”
Chaturvedi also claimed that mall authorities did not allow him and other members of the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha to enter the premises.
Later in the day, the Uttar Pradesh Police said that they have detained three persons for allegedly attempting to recite Sundarkand, a chapter dedicated to deity Hanuman from the epic Ramayana, inside the mall premises, according to ANI.
“Three people of Hindu Samaj Party were detained from mall’s gate,” Additional Deputy Commissioner Police Rajesh Srivastava said. “Currently, the situation is peaceful.”
Meanwhile, Sameer Verma, the general manager of the mall, said that the establishment respects all religions, but added that no religious prayers were allowed there. “We train our floor staff and security staff to keep an eye on such activities,” he said.