Man held in Haryana for hailing Somnath Temple plunderer


PTI, Mar 17, 2021, 12:50 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Police on Wednesday detained a man at Panipat in Haryana for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by hailing Mahmud of Ghazni, known for plundering the Somnath Temple in Gujarat, and Arab invader Mohammad bin Qasim, an official said.

A video recently surfaced on social media in which the accused, identified as Irshad Rashid, was purportedly heard recalling the temple’s plunder by Mahmud, and praising him and bin Qasim, said Prabhas Patan police station’s in-charge inspector DD Parmar.

The video was shot more than a year ago on a mobile phone from about half-a-kilometre away from the renowned Somnath Temple in the Gir Somnath district of Gujarat.

A Gir Somnath police team detained Rashid in Panipat early Wednesday morning, Parmar said.

Rashid’s location was traced through technical surveillance and the police rushed there on Tuesday, he said, adding that the police team will be back to Somnath with his custody.

An FIR was lodged against Rashid on Monday under IPC Sections 153 (A) promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion and race) and 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), on the basis of a complaint filed by the Shree Somnath Trust’s general manager Vijaysinh Chavda.

Rashid had recorded the video at a beach near the temple over a year ago during his visit to Somnath.

The Somnath Temple, which was the target of repeated attacks by Mahmud of Ghazni, was rebuilt and renovated after the country’s Independence.

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