As a gesture of goodwill, Lucknow police and devotees arriving at Teele Wali Masjid exchanged roses with each other to ensure that Friday prayers pass off peacefully. The cops also offered flowers to those coming to offer Namaz at other prominent mosques in the city, whereas members of civil society groups and clerics too joined and supported the idea.
According to The Times of India, police commissioner DK Thakur said the idea was mooted by a civil defence member.
"I found it in sync with Lucknow's Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and decided to implement it," Thakur said.
'Such Gestures Promote Brotherhood'
Wasif Hasan, Mutawallai of Teele Wali Masjid, said that such gestures promote brotherhood in the society, especially in the wake of the current situation.
"I would appeal to people to maintain peace and harmony. Those coming to offer Namaz should not indulge in any kind of sloganeering. They should offer prayers and return to their homes," he said.
The heart-winning gesture was also hailed by commuters who stopped and gave flowers to the cops. DCP, west zone, Somen Barma, said flowers were exchanged at all eight mosques in his zone.
The move came after many parts of the state witnessed violence after Friday prayers last week. In Lucknow, a crowd had gathered at Teele Wali Masjid and allegedly raised slogans. The incident raised the eyebrows of the district administration, prompting them to deploy heavy security forces ahead of Friday prayers, India Today reported.
However, by offering roses to the devotees, the administration appealed for peace and welcomed the worshippers. In Saharanpur too, prayers were observed peacefully amid heavy deployment of the police force and drone cameras.