New Delhi, October 27, 2014 ( Agencies)  The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, was attacked by a 32-year-old man during Sunday evening prayers, hours after his son was chosen as the vice-Imam.  The accused tried to set the Imam ablaze by pouring kerosene over him, but couldn’t ignite the lighter. “He was immediately overpowered by the Imam’s personal security staff and handed over to the local police who have booked him for attempt to murder.  The attacker is believed to be mentally unstable,” a senior police officer said. Apart from that a defunct lighter, police also recovered a match box from accused Kamaluddin’s pocket.Kamaluddin hails from 24 Parganas in West Bengal.

Investigations revealed that Kamaluddin had arrived in New Delhi by train with the specific intention of targeting the Imam. He is being questioned about his motives and background and whether he acted alone or on

someone else’s behest. Kamaluddin had jumped eight queues of devotees and then poured a bottle of kerosene over the Imam. He then attempted to set the Imam afire at 5:47 pm. “The Imam did not receive any injuries but there could have been serious damage had the attacker not failed to light the fire,” said the officer. 

Earlier in the day, Shaban Bukhari, the 19-year-old son of the Shahi Imam, was chosen to succeed his father as the 14th Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in the country. Shaban was picked for the influential post due to his “strong inclination” toward humanities besides his religious capabilities, said Bukhari who has been holding the prestigious post since 2000. The teenager, who is pursuing bachelors in social work at a private university, will be appointed as the “Nayab Shahi Imam” (vice-Imam) at a ceremony on November 22 which will be attended by around 1,000 religious leaders from across the world.
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