The Lucknow Police on Sunday arrested two more persons for allegedly offering namaz at the city’s Lulu Mall.
With the arrests, the tally of persons in custody in the case has increased to seven.
The case pertains to a video of some persons who were seen offering namaz at the mall on July 12. Two days later, the police filed a first information report against unidentified persons under Indian Penal Code sections 153A(1) (promoting enmity between groups), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).
The first four arrests in the case were made on Tuesday. The fifth accused person was held on Saturday, reported PTI.
The two persons arrested on Sunday have been identified as Irfan Ahmed and Saud, residents of the Sadatganj area in the city.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Rajesh Kumar said efforts were being made to arrest other accused persons in the case.
The namaz video had led to a controversy after members of Hindutva outfit Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha protested outside the gate of the mall on July 14. They had demanded permission from the authorities to chant the Hanuman Chalisa near the mall.
“People from a particular community are being allowed to offer namaz inside the mall,” Shishir Chaturvedi, a national spokesperson of the organisation, had said. “The mall authorities should also allow Hindus and people from other communities to offer prayers.”
Sameer Verma, the general manager of the mall, had 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.
None of those arrested is a staff member of Lulu Mall, according to PTI.