Clashes Erupt In UP’s Bareilly After Islamic Cleric Calls For Protest Over ‘Anti-Muslim Policies’

Bareilly town in Uttar Pradesh saw few incidents on Friday as thousands of supporters of Islamic cleric Tauqeer Raza Khan took to the streets in response to his call for a "jail bhaar" protest against what he termed as "anti-Muslim policies of the government”, according to a PTI report. Incidents of violence marred the town as protesters clashed with authorities. At least two individuals sustained injuries in the Shyamatganj market area of ​​the Baradari police station, where stones were hurled during the protest. In the Shehdana area, a motorcycle rider was attacked, and several two-wheelers parked on the roadside were damaged by the demonstrators.

Police resorted to mild force to disperse the crowds at both locations.

Thousands of Khan’s supporters assembled near the Islamia College ground of Biharipur under Kotwali police station, rallying against what they perceive as discriminatory government policies.

Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, addressing reporters outside his residence after Friday prayers. , accused the government of targeting Muslims. "The government is treating Muslims as an enemy. We are against the anti-Muslim policies of the government," Raza was quoted by PTI.

However, attempts by Khan to join the protesters were thwarted by local authorities, who maintained peace and control in the area, as stated by Inspector General of Police Rakesh Kumar Singh.

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Singh was quoted by PTI, "Maulana Tauqeer Raza had announced that he would court arrest against the policies of the government. He was stopped and peacefully asked to return home. The condition is peaceful and under control. Sufficient police force has been deployed in the area."

The district administration’s denial of permission for the "jail bhaar" protest, citing law and order concerns, led to the sealing of the Islamia College, where Khan had urged his supporters to gather.

District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar confirmed incidents of stone-pelting in the Shyamatganj market, resulting in injuries to two individuals whose identities are yet to be established. Two FIRs have been lodged in connection with the violence.

Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan is a prominent Barelvi cleric and head of the political organization, Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC). He is a direct descendant of Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, the founder of Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam.