One arrested for raising pro-Pak slogans during a march in support of Asaduddin Owaisi and Zakir Naik

Patna: One person was arrested for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans when supporters of a front took out a march here in support of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

The march was taken out yesterday from Science College here and some persons present in the rally raised pro-Pakistan slogans, police said.

The footage of the march telecast by a few TV news channels showed protestors under the banner of ‘Popular Front of India’ demanding that Bihar government intervene and speak to the Centre on Zakir Naik issue.

They also alleged that the “crack down” on Naik and Owaisi was a “concerted effort to silence the voice of Muslims leaders in the country.”

Police swung into action and arrested one person identified as Taufiq in connection with the rally, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Manu Maharaj told PTI today.

Director General of Police P K Thakur said the footage was being scanned to collect evidences.

Bihar police are also coordinating with central intelligence agencies to probe the case, he said.

Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal and the SSP said no prior permission was taken for the rally.

Meanwhile, opposition BJP used the issue to hit out against the Nitish Kumar government.

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi in a statement here claimed that the raising of pro-Pakistan slogans and eulogising Zakir Naik proved that the Nitish Kumar government had “increased the courage of such elements.”

“Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should answer how a rally was taken out in Patna in support of Zakir Naik who has been banned due to his provocative speeches in Britain, America and Canada.

“People have not forgotten that terrorist modules had come to light in Darbhanga, Samastipur and Muzaffarpur three years ago under Nitish Kumar’s rule. Also Bihar police had handed over terrorist Yasin Bhatkal to National Investigation Agency without interrogating him after his arrest from Raxual,” he said.

“The lax approach of the state government had resulted in bomb blasts in Bodh Gaya and explosions at a rally of then Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi in 2012 at Gandhi maidan in Patna in which seven persons lost lives,” the BJP leader added.