One day after a brief protest was held at Jama Masjid after Friday prayers, against comments about the Prophet, Delhi police identified five people and seized CCTV cameras installed at the scene.
DCP (Central) Shweta Chauhan said: “We have registered a case under IPC Section 188 (disobeying an order duly issued by an official) for staging the protest without permission against unknown persons, and we will add other sections bearing in mind provocation as a witness by our police forces and in the content of CCTV footage that has been obtained.
Police in their initial investigation found that people had been mobilized via WhatsApp messages. “Central District Police have obtained vital details from these WhatsApp groups and are collecting more details,” a senior police officer said.
The DCP added: “About 1,500 people had gathered for Friday namaz, 150 of whom started protesting with placards later which grew to 300. However, the police peacefully controlled the crowd within 10-15 minutes. . Since the protest took place without permission, we will take action against some who have been identified. The way people gathered after the namaz, with banners and signs, suggests it was planned.
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Sources said that on Thursday evening, the special branch received reports that a committee would stage protests at Gate 1 of Jama Masjid against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expel the head of the unit of Delhi BJP media, Naveen Kumar Jindal. Following this, sources said, the Central District Police took security measures.
Some of those protesting carried signs and chanted slogans against Sharma, demanding his arrest. As the protesters dispersed, a police officer on the scene said: “Most of the people (who had gathered for Friday prayers) left after the namaz. Now, it’s just a small gathering.
The demonstrators had declared that they were not affiliated with any political party. One of them, Tajuddin, said: “We are not political; we just want to protest the insult to the Prophet and demand that the culprits be arrested.