United Kingdom

Police are called to Luton mosque after huge row erupts involving up to 300 worshippers

A huge row involving up to 300 worshippers at a Luton mosque had to be broken up by police. 

Six police cars arrived at the Jalalabad Jame Masjid Mosque on Leagrove Road in Luton, Befordshire, to quell the disturbance on Friday afternoon. 

Footage of police breaking up the altercation emerged on social media on Monday. 

The video shows many worshippers shouting as they flout social distancing rules by mingling close together during the altercation. 

Several police are seen trying to dampen tensions, while another officer talks into his radio.  

A huge row involving up to 300 worshippers at a Luton mosque had to be broken up by police. Six police cars arrived at the Jalalabad Jame Masjid Mosque on Leagrove Road in Luton, Befordshire, to quell the disturbance on Friday afternoon

It reportedly started when the mosque's secretary, Syedul Islam Khan, arrived to worship as normal on Friday, despite having been unexpectedly removed from his position earlier this month, according to local outlet Luton News.

Mr Khan told the outlet that he was removed from his position on October 18 by other committee members. 

Police were then allegedly called by the committee members on Friday when he arrived as normal. 

According to Luton News, mediation talks between the parties are ongoing. 

The outlet also quoted a member of the public who said the mosque knew in advance that there were going to be disruptions and that the police also knew.  

A member of Luton Council allegedly estimated that there were between 250 and 300 people at the mosque when the altercation broke out.  

Luton is under a Tier 1 coronavirus alert level, which means the lowest level of restrictions within the Government's 'traffic light' system are in place. 

Footage of police breaking up the altercation emerged on social media on Monday. The video shows many worshippers shouting as they flout social distancing rules by mingling close together during the altercation

While places of worship are allowed to remain open, groups of more than six people are banned from mingling unless they live together or have formed a support bubble.

Social distancing guidelines should also be observed, meaning people should stay at least two metres apart - or one metre with additional measures. 

However, it is clear from the video that the worshippers were flouting restrictions

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman told MailOnline: 'We were called to reports of a disturbance at Jalalabad Jame Masjid on Leagrave Road in Luton, shortly after 1.30pm on Friday (23 October), where an altercation was in progress.

'Officers attended the scene and spoke to those present. No offences were reported.

'Officers engaged with those at the location regarding Covid-19 guidelines and reminded them of the importance of following the guidance.

The force added that the capacity of the mosque, which is set over two floors, is up to 400 people if social distancing guidelines are being followed.   

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