Gurgaon (Haryana, India) October 22 (KMS): Juma prayers were disrupted again, today, at Gurgaon in the Indian state of Haryana as a mob of extremists Hindus shouted Hindu slogans when the Muslims were offering prayers.
Muslims peacefully offering namaz on a private property in Gurgaon’s Sector 12-A today were faced by a crowd comprising Hindu groups like Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ slogans.
Similarly tense scenes have been seen in Sector 47 (a more urban area), where namaz offered outdoors on government-owned land triggered protests and demands that it stop or move indoors.
Visuals from today’s scene showed a heavy police presence (including members of the state’s Rapid Action Force) as the Muslims offered prayers. The video showed dozens of policemen standing guard behind a handful of metal barricades holding back a protesting crowd shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ slogans.
Among those challenging the namaz was a local lawyer – a Kulbhushan Bharadwaj – who can be seen arguing with the cops. A former BJP leader, Bharadwaj represented the Jamia Millia shooter when he was arrested by Gurgaon Police for allegedly making communal speeches.
In both cases – Sector 47 and Sector 12-A – the namaz sites were part of 37 identified by the Gurgaon district administration on which Muslims are ‘allowed’ to offer prayers. These are sites chosen after talks between Hindu and Muslims in the wake of similar events in 2018.
On October 15 afternoon around 100 people carrying placards, singing bhajan and raising slogans came to the ground. They were carrying a portable speaker and a mic. They were also shouting slogans against Manohar Lal Khattar government for failing to stop namaz in public places. Their placards read ‘Namaz ki jagah khaali karo’ and they kept chanting and singing ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and bhajans.
At Sector 47 – where protests have been going on for four weeks – the residents (extremist Hindus) claim that namaz was allowed on the site for one day only. Over the past weeks they’ve turned up shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ slogans and holding placards that read ‘stop namaz in open spaces’ or ‘offer namaz in mosques’.
The confrontation in Gurgaon comes amid some shocking comments by senior BJP leaders, including MP Anantkumar Hegde, who termed the azaan (call for prayers) as noise pollution.