Islamic preacher Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari was arrested from Mumbai and taken to Gujarat late last night in connection with an allegedly inflammatory speech that he had delivered in that state last week. The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) took him into custody in the morning and proceeded towards Junagadh on a transit remand for two days.
Hundreds of his supporters had gathered outside the Ghatkopar police station and blocked the traffic when he was brought there. The crowd was lathi-charged to make way for the police convoy heading towards Junagadh with the preacher.
The police action against him came after a video of his January 31 speech went viral. AIMIM leader Waris Pathan said Maulana Azhari’s speech was about the Israel-Palestine dispute and he didn’t intend to provoke anyone.
5 Points About Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari
- Maulana Azhari is a Sunni research scholar and motivational speaker from Mumbai. He is the founder of Jamia Riyazul Jannah, Al-Amaan Education and Welfare Trust, and Darul Amaan, according to his X (formerly Twitter) bio.
- He studied at the Al Azhar University in Cairo, the oldest degree-giving university in Egypt and among the most prestigious Islamic learning centres.
- Maulana Azhari’s powerful speeches earned him a significant following among Muslims across the world. He is also involved in various socio-religious activities.
- He allegedly gave a provocative speech in Gujarat’s Junagadh on January 31, a video of which went viral and prompted a police case in the city.
- The cleric has urged his supporters not to protest against his detention and requested them to vacate the police station premises to maintain law and order.