As news of communal flare-up in Nuh spread Monday evening, kin of Mohammad Saad, the naib Imam of Anjuman Jama Masjid in Gurgaon, grew worried for him. The 22-year-old, though, reassured them he would be safe as there was “enough police deployment” outside the mosque.
Around 12.10 am on Tuesday, he was found dead after a mob of nearly 100 people allegedly broke into the under-construction mosque at Sector 57 and set it on fire. They allegedly stabbed Saad in the neck, chest and abdomen and injured a caretaker, Mohammad Khurshid.
Gurgaon Police Commis-sioner Kala Ramachandran said five people have been arrested in the case. She said a group of men attacked the mosque at 12.10 am.
Shadaab Anwar (30), Saad’s brother, told The Indian Express, “He reassured me that the situation was normal as at least two police vehicles had been deployed outside the mosque…”
Hailing from Bihar’s Sitamarhi, Saad had been the mosque’s naib (temporary) Imam for the last six months. “He used to live inside the mosque,” said Anwar, adding that Saad was supposed to return to their village the same day.
“He told me he would read namaz early in the morning and leave via a train,” Anwar said.
An eyewitness to the incident, requesting anonymity, alleged, “Around 12 am, a mob of 100 people, carrying iron rods and sticks in their hands, came and started vandalising…”
“They climbed through the roof and some broke the gates… there was police deployment around but they still managed to vandalise the mosque… Khurshid and Saad were sleeping in one room while two other workers and I were taking rest nearby and managed to escape,” said another mosque worker.
Shubham Singh Tomar, who works at a petrol pump in front of the mosque, said he saw at least 40 men gathering near the premises.