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A dozen injured in bloody fight over Imam’s salary

Baghpat: Dispute over the salary of an Imam of a Masjid led to a bloody fight between two groups in the mosque in which a dozen were injured. It is reported that in Ramala village of Tahsil Barat (Baghpat) Imam Qari Muhammad Hasan of the village mosque had not received his salary for two months.

In view of his financial difficulties, people began to collect subscriptions from the namazis to help Qari Muhammad Hasan. Mohtamim of the mosque Muhammad Irshad refused to subscribe, saying that an amount of Rs. 40,000 from the Masjid fund which was given to him as advance is already due from Imam Qari Muhammad Hasan and hence why should we subscribe for him, but many people did not agree to his reasoning.

Verbal arguments gathered momentum and the war of words led to physical fights in which abusive words, bricks and lathis and even sharp edged tools also were used. The mosque became a battle ground and at least a dozen people, including a woman, were injured. Supporters of the Imam attacked the house of Mohtamim Muhammad Irshad and damaged it. The rival groups lodged complaints against each other in the police station. Further information was not available.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2011 on page no. 21

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