CM Yogi gets tough, says anarchy will not be tolerated- The New Indian Express

CM Yogi gets tough, says anarchy will not be tolerated- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Breaking his silence on the ongoing Namaz vs Sunder Kand controversy that broke out at the newly-inaugurated Lulu Mall in Lucknow, UP CM Yogi Adityanath made it clear to the police and district administration authorities that anarchy in any from will not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, following the CM’s orders, the Lucknow police on Tuesday morning arrested four persons — Noman, Lukman, Atif and Rehan — among those videographed offering namaz in the corridors of the Mall. The video had gone viral on social media last Tuesday.

While presiding over a meeting of the authorities late Monday night, CM Yogi had ordered the Lucknow administration to deal with troublemakers with an iron fist as they were trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the state capital.

Notably, a controversy had erupted after a video of a bunch of Muslim men offering namaz at Lulu Mall went viral drawing reaction from right-wing outfits including Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and Karni Sena who gave the ‘Boycott Lulu’ call and thronged the mall to recite Sunder Kand and Hanuman Chalisa inside it.

The right-wing activists had been demonstrating at the mall and the roads approaching it, leading to huge traffic snarls and lawlessness in the area. The police arrested three demonstrators and detained scores for protesting at the mall.

ALSO READ | LuLu Mall in Lucknow in the thick of Namaz vs Sundar Kand controversy days after inauguration

The police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) in this case on July 14 on the basis of a written complaint given by Sibtain Hussain from the mall under Section 153(A), 341, 505, 295 (A) of IPC against unidentified persons.

Giving directions to officials CM Yogi said, “There is a mall which has opened in Lucknow. It is working as a commercial establishment. Making it a political battleground, giving unnecessary statements, protesting on streets and hampering public movement is uncalled for. The Lucknow district administration should take it seriously as a malicious attempt being made to create communal disharmony with anarchy. The administration should deal strictly with those trying to spoil the atmosphere by promoting unnecessary issues.”

He reiterated that no one will be given permission to perform puja and other religious activities on road and public places.

Inside Lucknow's Lulu mall
Lulu’s Lucknow mall claims to be India’s biggest. (Photo | EPS)

The Lulu Mall, the fifth in the chain in India, was inaugurated by the CM himself on July 10 in Lucknow. The owner, Kerala businessman Yusuf Ali MA, had announced the mall, the biggest in India, at the UP Investors Summit in 2018. It was constructed at a whopping Rs 2,000 crore and is spread across 11 acres of land in the state capital. The group has also announced projects in Varanasi and Prayagraj.

As per a senior police official involved in the investigation, the CCTV footage showed the incident was a deliberate attempt at mischief. The intention was to malign the mall and cause enmity and hatred between communities.

The mall administration has also had to refute allegations that 80% of the mall staff was from the Muslim community. Lulu claimed that most of their staff is from the majority community of Lucknow and other areas and only 20% was from other communities.

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