Syed Ahmed Bukhari is the 13th Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Delhi.
Ancestry and appointment
Bukhari succeeded his father, Syed Abdulla Bukhari, on the day of 14 October 2000 as Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid in Delhi. On the day of 22 November 2014, his son, Shaban Bukhari, was formally designated to be the next Shahi Imam, although as of 2017, Syed Ahmed Bukhari remains in the post.
In 2014, in an interview with The Times of India, Syed Ahmed Bukhari said, “Modi claims to be the Prime Minister of 125 crore Indians but conveniently and deliberately ignores addressing Muslims. He has shown he doesn’t like us. He is the one who has been maintaining distance from the community. So, I too chose to maintain my distance.”
Controversy of Ahmed Bukhari
A criminal case was lodged against him along with Habib-ur-Rehman and Nafisa in 2001, after an incident on 3 September 2001, when a mob, led by Bukhari assaulted on-duty police and civic agencies officials trying to remove encroachments from near CGO Complex in Lodhi Colony. Bailable Warrants against the Ahmed Bukhari for this case have been issued over and over by the Delhi court. Delhi Police has been unsuccessful to arrest him citing communal tension for the past 10 years. The Magistrate observed that legal provisions entailed initiating the proceedings of declaring Bukhari a proclaimed offender, but doing so would “undermine the authority of law.” Also noted: “In my considered opinion, declaring accused Ahmed Bukhari a proclaimed offender would be a mockery of law and it would provide an easy escape route to the accused. It is surprising and shocking as well to see the police force not be able to execute the NBW issued against Bukhari. Such inaction by police can’t be tolerated,” he said in his order in July 2012.