Five persons were arrested under the stringent National Security Act on Tuesday for allegedly taking out processions in Indore in Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of Muharram in violation of the Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the local administration, police officials said.
All the five, including 60-year-old former councillor Usman Patel who resigned from the BJP in February to protest the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and joined the Congress, have been sent to the Indore Central Jail, they said.
Despite the ban imposed by the Indore administration on all religious events in the district in view of Covid-19 pandemic, Tazia processions on the occasion of Muhraam were taken out in Khajrana area on Sunday, officials said.
Usman Patel, Ismail Patel (45), Ansar Patel (38), Mohammed Ali Patel (65) and Shahzad Patel (28) were arrested in this connection under provisions of the National Security Act (NSA) following an order from the district administration, Superintendent of Police-East Vijay Khatri said.
They were sent to the Indore Central Jail, he said.
Meanwhile, Khajrana police station in-charge Dinesh Verma said they have recommended that NSA provisions be invoked against one more person for alleged violation of the Covid-19-related restrictions during the Muharram procession.
He said 22 others have also been arrested in this connection and four separate FIRs registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (unlawful and negligent act which is likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other related provisions.
Search was underway for others who violated the administration’s orders during the Muharram procession, he said.
Usman Patel quit the BJP in February this year, while alleging that the CAA was an “anti-constitutional provision”. He subsequently joined the Congress in the presence of then chief minister Kamal Nath along with several other Muslim leaders.