250 Muslim Shanties Bulldozed in Nuh, No Friday Prayers in Gurugram Mosques

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The demolition exercise has left hundreds of people in the lurch, depriving them of food for the last two days

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Authorities in Haryana’s Nuh district demolished about 250 shanties of Muslims living in Tauru’s slums accusing them of involvement in this week’s violence and occupying the government land illegally.

On the other hand, as a precautionary measure Muslim leaders in Gurugram asked worshippers to offer Friday noon prayers at their homes. As such there were no congregational prayers in mosques of the millennial city. 

In Gurugram, Faridabad, Palwal, Sohna and other parts of the state, Muslims and their properties were targeted after clashes erupted in Nuh during the religious procession held by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday. Six persons, including the young deputy imam at Anjuman Jama Masjid in Gurugram’s Sector 57, Hafiz Saad, were killed while dozens of people got injured in the large-scale rioting and arson.

Following the violence, authorities arrested hundreds of people from Nuh, a Muslim-majority district. Now, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state has started following the controversial policy of bulldozing houses initially begun by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In its first action, the Haryana government on Thursday bulldozed the settlement allegedly set up on Haryana Urban Authorities’ land.

Narender Birjaniya, OSD to ADGP (Law) Mamta Singh, said: “We have carried out demolitions and principally, these structures were illegal. You cannot have an illegal structure and use it to hamper law and order.”

The demolition exercise has left hundreds of people in the lurch, depriving them of food for the last two days.

“People living in #Tauru’s slums whose shanties were bulldozed on Thursday said that they have nothing to eat and their ration and stuff was razed during the illegal #encroachment drive. They are hungry for the last two days,” tweeted journalist Leena Dhankar.

Dhankar also posted a video statement of a dweller who said that they were asked to vacate the place within five minutes.

“Yesterday, a man came and asked us to vacate the place. We asked him the reason. Then, he brought in JCB bulldozer and asked us to remove all the saman (belongings). Then, they razed all shanties within half an hour. All our food items were destroyed. There is also a lockdown. We are not getting to eat anything for the last 2-3 days,” said the resident.

Even on Friday, several houses were bulldozed in Nuh’s Nalhar village in the vicinity of the temple where 2,500 pilgrims took shelter during the rioting.

On the other hand, Muslim groups decided against holding congregational Friday noon prayers in Gurugram mosques.

Altaf Ahmad, spokesperson of Gurgaon Muslim Council, said the imams of Gurugram appealed to the Muslim community in the city not to go to mosques for prayers in view of the tense situation.

“For the Muslim community, Juma namaz is mandatory which needs to be offered in congregation; however given the recent communal violence, they will most likely stay away from offering prayers in mosques, at least this week,” he said.

Muslim Ekta Manch President Haji Sajjad Khan said Friday prayers will not be offered in the open in Gurugram. “Previously also, there has been opposition to namaz in the open in Gurugram and taking the Nuh violence into consideration, this decision has been taken for the safety of our people,” he said.

However, NDTV reported that Friday prayers were offered at the Eidgah mosque of Gurugram, but only a handful of worshipers joined the congregational prayer.  

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