Namaz disrupted in Gurgaon for third consecutive week

At 1 pm, a group of 30-35 residents, carrying placards that read ‘stop namaz in open spaces’ and ‘offer namaz in mosque’, and raising ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogans, gathered at the ground opposite State Vigilance Bureau office in sector 47.

Gurgaon Police on Friday afternoon asked the members of Muslim community to offer namaz at a distance of about 150 metres from the ‘designated’ site in sector 47, after a group of residents objected to namaz being offered in the open at the site for the third consecutive week citing ‘security and traffic’ concerns. The prayers were offered amid heavy police deployment.

At 1 pm, a group of 30-35 residents, carrying placards that read ‘stop namaz in open spaces’ and ‘offer namaz in mosque’, and raising ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogans, gathered at the ground opposite State Vigilance Bureau office in sector 47.

Several residents said that members of Muslim community should offer namaz in their homes, or mosques or on Waqf board properties and should not block roads to offer prayers. A resident, requesting anonymity, said, “The local residents have concerns related to security. Earlier, only 20 people used to offer prayers. Now, there is a crowd of about 200. We don’t know who these ‘outsiders’ are. Petty crime has increased in the area. It also created so much traffic congestion on the access roads.”

Among the residents was Dinesh Bharti, a member of Bharat Mata Vahini, who was arrested last week for allegedly disrupting Friday prayers in the past few months, and was booked at sector 50 police station in April for promoting enmity among communities. He was released on bail this Tuesday.

Aman Yadav, assistant commissioner of police, ACP, Sadar, said, some residents voiced their concerns regarding namaz being offered in the open at the site.

“Residents have been protesting here for the past 3-4 weeks. They say that this land, which is under government, had been allotted for a market space. The site is among the list of 37 sites that was negotiated by district administration after consultations with members of both the communities in 2018. It was not a written agreement. Residents will now discuss the matter with SDM and district administration officials to find a solution. The namaz was offered peacefully at the same site. There was no relocation, but in light of the situation, the prayers were offered at a slight distance at the same ground,” he said.

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