Seven men were arrested for allegedly throwing objectionable items outside a mosque in Ayodhya. Police said the accused were wearing skull caps to purportedly come across as Muslims and had made an attempt to instigate riots in the area.
According to police, the incident took place early on Wednesday and they are looking for four more men who are on the run. The accused rode past the mosque on bikes and threw raw meat, pages of a holy book and some objectionable posters in a bid to hamper peace, police added.
Police identified the accused as Mahesh Kumar Mishra, Pratyush Srivastava, Nitin Kumar, Deepak Kumar Guar alias Gunjan, Brajesh Pandey, Shatrughan Prajapati and Vimal Pandey. Prime accused Mahesh was arrested on Thursday while the others were arrested late on Wednesday.
Police said they identified the accused with the help of CCTV footage of the area. The accused came wearing skull caps to come across as being from a particular community and threw objectionable objects outside the mosque, police added.
Additional chief secretary (home) Awanish Awasthi has announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to the police team that will solve the case.
Speaking to the media, Ayodhya senior superintendent of police Shailesh Pandey said, “Seven accused have been arrested. They executed the incident after proper planning and threw objectionable posters and objects outside the mosque. Police swung into action soon after receiving information about the incident, following which evidence was collected and the chain of events was identified.”
He added, “Four others on the run will soon be arrested. The vehicle, mobile phones and objects used in the incident have been recovered. Prime facie the accused wanted to spoil the peaceful environment of Ayodhya and hamper brotherhood.”
Police said they spoke to religious leaders to keep the situation under control, while heavy security cover has been deployed in the district ahead of Alvida Namaz and the festival of Eid.