The Bombay high court on Wednesday asked the Mumbai police if the latter is equipped to deal with a potential law-and-order situation when Pakistan-born Canadian Tahirul Qadri, part of Pakistan based organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran, delivers his speeches in the city.
A socio-religious forum, Raza Academy, has moved the court seeking to restrain Qadri from delivering his lectures, scheduled for March 15 and 17 at the Birla Auditorium, New Marine Lines, and Somaiya Grounds in Sion respectively.
Senior counsel V Tulpule, appearing for the academy, argued, “The last time Qadri delivered his speech in Kashmir, there was a law-and-order problem. We want to prevent this man from causing a communal riot in the city.”
Public Prosecutor PA Pol said, “Qadri has delivered speeches in Karnataka and Hyderabad and security was provided there. As of now, the application by the organisers is yet to be decided and will be done today. However, we are competent enough to deal with law-and-order situations.”
The bench, however, observed, “We are concerned about the steps being taken by you. It shouldn’t happen that there is some kind of-”
While adjourning the hearing of the petition till Thursday, the bench said, “File your affidavit as to the adequate steps taken by you (police) to curb the high tempers running.”
The academy has pleaded for a First Information Report (FIR) to be registered against Qadri under section 153 (B) of the Indian Penal Code, and seeks for the police to restrain Qadri’s entry into the city.
Qadri is a reputed Islamic preacher and Sufi scholar, who speaks on various controversial issues, including terrorism. He has been in the country for a month, and is scheduled to deliver his speeches on March 15 and 17 at the Birla Auditorium, New Marine Lines, and Somaiya Grounds in Sion.