Delhi Police Officer Kicks, Punches Men Offering Namaz On Road In Inderlok; Suspended After Video Sparks Outrage

A shocking and shameful incident has come to the fore from New Delhi, where a sub-inspector was seen kicking and punching Muslim men offering Friday prayers on the side of the road. The Delhi Police suspended the sub-inspector after the videos of the assault were circulated on social media on Friday.

The incident happened near the Inderlok Metro Station in the capital. The police officer, who has not been identified yet, can be seen kicking Muslim men, who were in ‘sajda’ (state of prostration), when offering namaz as the azaan (call of prayer) continued in the background. The men were forced by the police officer to get up mid-prayers.

Soon, men gathered and confronted the police officer for his act. An argument between him and the others broke out.

As the video went viral on social media, the Delhi Police said it launched an inquiry into the matter. The incident, however, divided the social media users, with people calling out the police officer for his actions and others questioning the reasoning behind offering prayers on the road.

Delhi Police takes action against sub-inspector

Following the outrage over the sub-inspector’s actions, the Delhi Police suspended him. His identity has not been released yet.

“In the incident which happened today, the police post in-charge who was seen in the video has been suspended with immediate effect. Necessary disciplinary action is also being taken,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) MK Meena said.

Delhi Congress called the incident “shameful”. Taking to X, the party shared the video and said, “Very shameful! @DelhiPolice’s jawan is kicking worshipers offering namaz on the road. What could be more shameful than this?”

Is offering of prayers on roads allowed?

Offering of prayers on the road has become a contentious issue in recent years. Often times, a group of devotees are seen offering prayers on the side of the road, especially on Friday afternoons. This happens when mosques are full or the devotees are outside and there are no mosques around the area.

While the Indian law does not prohibit people from exercising their religious rights in public places, states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have seen instances where police arrested Muslims for praying on the roads. In January, a 35-year-old truck driver in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district was arrested for offering namaz, allegedly without permission.

Similarly, multiple arrests were recorded across Uttar Pradesh throughout 2023 when Muslims offered prayers in public places. More than 1,700 people were arrested in three areas of Kanpur for offering namaz on the roads outside mosques allegedly without permission during Eid in April 2023. In Bareily, the police filed FIR against 57 people for allegedly offering prayers on a road near a graveyard.

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