One person was killed and over two dozen others injured Friday when a crowd of thousands of Shias protesting against Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Azam Khan clashed with the police here.
Thousands of Shia Rozedars (fasting faithfuls) comprising of old and young men, after anti-Zionist rally on Quds day and offering the 'alvida namaaz' (farewell prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan) at the Asifi Imambada, decided to go ahead and stage a sit-in outside the residence of Azam Khan, who is also the Waqf minister, against his efforts to allegedly sneak in some "corrupt" office bearers in the Shia Waqf Board.
The protesters who had the banner of Sayyed Nasrallah and Imam Khomeini, shouted anti-Zionist slogans and asked United States to stop plot against Iraq, Syria and Palestine.
When the procession was prevented by police from moving ahead near the Shaheed Smarak, the protestors became violent and broke past the barricades. Police then carried out a baton charge in which many people were injured and a Shia protester killed.
The protester who died was identified as Karar Mehdi, a resident of Muftiganj.
Reacting strongly to the police action, Maulana Jawwad said the procession was being taken out peacefully, but "on the directive of Azam, police lathi charged people observing roza (fast) in which several persons, including elderly and children were injured".
The Maulana alleged that the election of Shia Central Waqf Board are scheduled soon and Azam intends to appoint people who intend to loot Waqf properties, to important posts.
Later, agitated with police action, the cleric sat on dharna in front of Shaheed Smarak, demanding that he should either be allowed to move ahead to Azam's house or be arrested.
Maulana Jawwad said SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav considered Azam as a big leader of Muslims, but in reality, the debacle the party faced in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections was due to the minister.
He also said that the party would not have won the five seats it got if the election commission had not banned Azam during the polls.