Man held for offering ‘azan’ in 250-year-old ‘mosque’ in UP | Meerut News – Times of India

Shamli: A man was arrested and sent to jail on Saturday for allegedly offering ‘azan‘ at a 250-year-old dilapidated structure spread across nearly 4 bighas in UP’s Shamli, considered by many as a Mughal-era mosque.
Shamli SP, Abhishek (who goes by his first name), said, “The accused, identified as Umar Qureshi, is a resident of Jalalabad. He was booked under IPC section 505 (2) (promoting enmity) and IT Act following a complaint by Neeraj Kumar, a representative of a village head in Gausgarh.”
A local police officer said Qureshi, in his early 20s, went to the unused site on Friday and tried to perform prayers, thereby violating a 1940 British order. He also filmed and circulated a video of it on social media.
As per 1940 order, prayers not allowed at Shamli mosque
The cop said, “Though the structure, partly in ruins, still exists today, a section of the majority community associates it with Manahar rajas. Others claim it is a mosque.”
Bhanu Pratap Singh, secretary of Manahar Kheda Fort Kalyan Samiti, a socio-cultural group, told TOI: “The region has been a part of Manhar Fort since 1350, where Hindu kings of Manhar Kheda once ruled. Later, the Mughals seized control bringing the area under the influence of Najeeb-ud-Daula. It was then turned into a mosque… But no Muslim family resides here today.”
Pratap claimed during the British rule, there was a row over resumption of prayers at the site, leading to tensions. He said, “In 1940, a ‘panchayat’ attended by then DM and maharaja of Jasmaur Riyasat reached a consensus following which an order was passed by the British. It still holds…”
As per the British order, “The structure should not be razed by Hindus… And Muslims should refrain from offering prayers at the site.” Locals said, “Gulam Qadir used to govern here during the Mughal period. Qadir was the grandson of Najeeb-ud-Daula, who established Najeebabad.”

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