4 Hindus arrested by UP police for offering Hanuman Chalisa in Mathura Eidgah, where is secularism now?

Following the incident of Muslim youth offering namaz inside a Hindu temple in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, a group of Hindu men entered the Eidgah in Goverdhan to recite Hanuman Chalisa on Tuesday morning.

Soon after the video of the Hanuman Chalisa recitation went viral on social media, the police arrested all four men in the afternoon. When asked, Hindu boys said that they recited the Hanuman Chalisa at the Masjid to ‘promote brotherhood’. They claimed that their intention was to spread a message of communal harmony, just like the Muslim men tried to do when they offered namaz inside the Nand Baba temple in Barsana.

The four have been identified as Saurabh Lambardar, Raghav Mittal, Kanha and Krishna Thakur. All of them are residents of the Govardhan area. “We have done nothing wrong….if they (Muslims) can offer namaz in a temple, then we can also recite devotional hymns in a mosque,” one of them said.

The four men, aged between 18 and 25, entered the Idgah on the Goverdhan-Barsana road and started reciting the Hindu prayer. On receiving information about the incident, Police arrested them and produced them in the court of Goverdhan sub-divisional magistrate Rahul Yadav, who ordered their release on a surety of Rs 2 lakh each.

The incident comes days after police arrested two Muslim men for allegedly offering namaz without permission at Nand Baba temple. An FIR was registered against them, stating that Khan and Mohammed offered namaz without taking permission from temple authorities or informing them.

The FIR reads, “Their act has hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community…We have a concern that these photographs do not get misused or if there is any foreign funding behind this incident. This should also be probed if this act intended to stir communal tensions”.

Now, it has been revealed that Faisal Khan had also participated in anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh and several other protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in several places in the country. Faizal Khan was nabbed near Jamia Gaffar Manzil on Monday. Mohammed Chand, the other accused, is yet to be arrested.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.