Police were on their toes in Lakhimpur city in UP on Friday morning after dozens of Muslims celebrated the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan. Some residents of Begum Bagh colony in Shivpuri area decorated their houses with green flags and also raised slogans like ‘Hafiz Saeed zindabad’ and ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. The issue was immediately brought to district magistrate Akashdeep’s notice after which police force was rushed to the colony.
Lakhimpur Kheri is the largest district in UP and it borders Nepal.
Officials said that the administration acted promptly as members of some right wing groups had started gathering in the area. “We received reports of slogans and flags being raised in support of Hafiz Saeed in the area. I have asked police to deeply investigate into the matter and ensure peace in the city,” Akashdeep told TOI.
On Friday morning, Kotwali police first received information about 20-25 youths from Begum Bagh celebrating the release of Hafiz Saeed. While initially, the cops did not take the issue seriously, they swung into action after the matter was reported to the DM. “We rushed to the colony and found that some residents had decorated their houses with green flags. We removed all such flags and also assured members of right wing outfits that the matter will be thoroughly investigated,” Kotwali police station in-charge Pradeep Shukla told TOI.
“We have got video evidence to prove that youngsters from the colony were celebrating the release of Hafiz Saeed. They even waved Pakistani flags and raised slogans such as ‘Hafiz Saeed zindabad’ and ‘Pakistan Zindabad’,” said the leader of a right wing outfit in the area.
As usual, the local Muslim clergy was quick to deny and obfuscate the matter. When asked about the incident, Ashfaq Qadri, Lakhimpur-based Iman, said, “I am not aware if someone raised anti-national slogans. As far as green flags are concerned, many people started celebrating Juloos-e-Mohammdi, which is on December 2, from Friday. It had nothing to do with Hafiz Saeed or Pakistan.”
This is not the first time that pro-Pakistan sentiment has been observed in Muslim localities across Bharat. In June, when Pakistan won the Champions Trophy cricket final against Bharat, firecrackers were burst and cheering witnessed in multiple towns and cities.
Last year, pro-Pakistan slogans were raised at a rally organized by Kerala-based jihadi organization PFI in support of banned Islamist preacher Zakir Naik and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi in Patna, Bihar.
Just yesterday, it was reported that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ (long live Pakistan) slogans were raised at a bike rally in support of AIMIM candidate for a municipal election in Ghaziabad, UP which falls in the National Capital Region.
Clearly, the mindset behind terror attacks like 26/11 is not limited to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – there are quite a few Islamist supporters within Bharat too. Incidentally, Hafiz Saeed had praised controversial television journalist Barkha Dutt and the Congress party as ‘good elements’ within Bharat.
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