Friday Prayer in Gurugram: Threats, Cancellation of Permission Keep Muslims Away from Over 2 Dozen Spots


Members of Hindutva outfits forcibly stopping Muslims from offer Friday prayers in Gurgaon, Haryana. — File photo

At Sector 12, where Hindu groups held puja last week, they say they will use the site as sports ground to play volleyball

Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — After continuous disruptions for more than two months, this Friday the situation in Haryana’s Gurugram was comparatively peaceful even as Namaz did not take place at more than two dozen open spots due to cancellation of permission and a looming threat of violence by vigilante groups.

At one site in Sarhol village, a group of Hindutva supporters gathered and shouted ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ slogans in an attempt to block Namaz. The Muslims then decided to hold the prayers at an alternate spot.

At the Namaz spot of Sector 12, a group of right-wing supporters showed up in the afternoon in two cars to mark their presence even as Muslim community had already decided not to hold the Namaz there.

The group was led by self-styled Hindutva activist Praveen Hindustani who was detained a few weeks back along with two dozen people who attempted to disrupt the Namaz.

He said they will continue their opposition to the Namaz openly. “Muslims should offer prayers only in mosques and not in the open,” he said. “They have no permission from the administration.”

He said they will use the site as a sports ground to play volleyball there.

Last Friday, on November 5, the Hindutva groups and local Hindus held a Govardhan Puja event at the site. BJP leader Kapil Mishra attended the event where he said “We will not allow Namaz at any cost”. The event was marked by genocidal hate slogans recorded on camera but the police are yet to file a case.

Since mid-September Hindutva groups have been making attempts to disrupt Namaz being held in open due to lack of required number of mosques in Gurugram. They have had some success as administration caved in under pressure cancelling permission at eight sites. The Muslim community has however opposed the decision and demanded that they be allowed to hold Namaz in the open until land is allotted to them for construction of mosques to meet their need.

The district administration has constituted a committee to discuss the issue with representatives of the communities but the impasse continues as accusation are being made that Muslims associated with Rashriya Swayamsevak Sangh are being installed as representatives of the community to build a consensus and arrive at a solutions favourable to the Hindutva groups.

“Juma Namaz disruptions will not end unless the Government of Haryana allocates land for building mosques so the Muslim Community can offer their prayers with dignity,” Altaf Ahmad of the Gurgaon Muslim Council said in a statement.

The groups had planned to take up the issue with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar who visited Gurugram on Wednesday but they were not granted appointment.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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