Lucknow: 2 more held in Lulu Mall namaz row; total 7 arrested

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday arrested two more people for offering “unauthorized” prayers at a shopping mall here, taking the total number of arrests to seven.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Rajesh Kumar Srivastava said, “Irfan Ahmed and Saud, residents of Sadatganj area of ​​Lucknow, have been arrested. The accused were among those who offered prayers on the mall premises without permission. The fresh arrest comes days after the police arrested the fifth accused in the case.

Efforts are on to arrest the other accused in the case, the official said.

None of those arrested is a staff member of Lulu Mall, which was recently inaugurated by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The arrests came after Adityanath on Monday directed the administration to take strict action against elements “bent on spoiling the atmosphere” in the state.

A video of people offering namaz at Lulu Mald surfaced on social media on July 13.

The incident sparked controversy after a right-wing Hindu organization objected to offering prayers on the mall premises and sought permission to read Hanuman Chalisa there.

Some members of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha staged a sit-in at the gate of Lulu Mall on July 14.

Shishir Chaturvedi, who claimed to be the national spokesperson of the Mahasabha, had alleged that people belonging to a particular community were being allowed to offer prayers inside the mall.

The mall authorities should also allow Hindus and other religions to offer prayers inside the mall, he had said.

Sameer Verma, general manager of the mall in Lucknow, issued a video statement after the controversy, saying, “Lulu Mall respects all religions. Any kind of religious work or prayer is not permitted here. We train our floor staff and security staff to keep an eye on such activities.” On July 15, two people were arrested by police and at least 15 detained for creating a ruckus when they tried to enter the mall premises without permission.

Following the incident, the local police have beefed up security near the mall in the Shaheed Path area.

The mall, belonging to the Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group, was inaugurated by Adityanath earlier this month in the presence of senior party leaders.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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