Before Demolition of Barabanki Mosque, Wave of Arrests Spread Fear, Scuttled Protests
Two days ago, on Monday, May 17, a mosque in the central Uttar Pradesh town of Barabanki was demolished by the administration in defiance of an order of the Allahabad high court. The Gareeb Nawaz Al Maroof Mosque had been around for at least six decades, according to electricity bills held by its committee members, and was registered with the UP Sunni Waqf Board….
On March 20, a day after protests broke out against the administration’s plan to demolish a mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki, 180 people were booked under serious charges, including attempt to murder. Everyone named in the FIR is Muslim…. Around six additional FIRs were filed in relation to this and roughly 30 people are still in jail, locals say.
On April 11, nearly three weeks later, Barabanki police also arrested one Ishtiyaq alias Sonu in this case under the National Security Act (NSA)…. Five weeks later, the mosque was demolished…. The fact is that the indiscriminate arrests made in March weighed heavily on the community’s mind, say locals. No Muslim “dared” to protest on the day of the demolition, Maulana Mustafa told The Wire….